Ban Ki-moon Wants to Stay U.N Chief

Monday, 06 Jun 2011 12:58 PM

Ban Ki-moon today announced his candidacy for a second five-year term as secretary-general of the United Nations and received the unanimous backing of the UN’s 53 Asian nations, Pakistani and South Korean envoys said.

Ban, 66, “offered himself as a candidate” at a breakfast meeting with representatives of the Asian nations, Pakistan’s Ambassador Abdullah Haroon told reporters after leaving the session.

“He started off by giving a report to the Asian group on his performance in the past five years and, based on that performance, he offered himself as a candidate,” Haroon said, “They resoundingly supported him, unanimously, and each and every member in praise of him.”

The Asian group will now ask the Security Council to nominate Ban, after which the UN General Assembly will vote on whether to give the former South Korean foreign minister a second term. South Korea’s Ambassador Park In-Kook said the process may be completed by the end of this month.

Ban, from South Korea, is virtually assured a second term because Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S., the five permanent members of the Security Council that could veto his candidacy, have declared their informal support and no opposition candidate has emerged. Ban, the eighth UN secretary general, would be the fifth to win election to a second term.

‘Disappointing’ on Rights

While Ban’s first term “has too often been disappointing on human rights issues, his recent handling of the crises in the Arab world or Ivory Coast has been more positive,” Philippe Bolopion of New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “We can only hope that once free from re-election concerns, with his legacy in mind, he will become a more forceful and consistent voice on human rights, including when it means standing up to permanent members of the council like China.”

Haroon credited Ban with working to bring about “fairly transparent elections” in Asia and Africa and making progress toward UN poverty and hunger-reduction targets known as the Millennium Development Goals.

“Facing the unprecedented convergence of international crises, he has been excellent in using his agenda-setting capacity and convening power,” Park said.

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