Tags: ban | ki | moon | un | election

U.N. Chief: I Can Work With Whoever Wins

Tuesday, 04 Nov 2008 01:35 PM

By Stewart Stogel

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be watching the U.S. presidential election results with a keen eye, although he has been publicly nonpartisan and says he can work with either candidate.

The neutrality of Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, differs from the stance of his predecessor, Kofi Annan, who was rumored to have advised Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004.

The only involvement the U.N. has had in the current campaign was Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s brief visit during the General Assembly in September.

"As far as I am concerned, as secretary-general, I am ready and prepared to work very closely with the next president of the United States, whoever that may be," Ban said.

“Since I became secretary-general, one of my focuses, or my priorities, has been to maintain a very strong and close partnership between the United States and the United Nations because I believe, personally and officially, that maintaining such a good relationship with the host government and largest financial contributor and one of the biggest world leaders is very important."

Whoever is elected, Ban needs to scrutinize his letter of congratulations carefully to avoid a gaffe like Annan made.

Shortly after the 2000 campaign, Annan sent an official letter complimenting "George W Bush Jr." on his election.

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