Tags: un | obama | issues | bush

U.N. Chief Wants Quick Meeting With Obama

Wednesday, 05 Nov 2008 12:05 PM

By Stewart Stogel

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon isn't wasting time in trying to establish ties with the incoming Obama administration.

Ban told reporters Wednesday that he has a phone call in to President-elect Barack Obama and expects to see him in Washington next week when he attends the emergency economic summit President Bush called.

"I will try to meet him in person as soon as possible in his capacity as president-elect,” Ban said. “I will try to coordinate with his transition team and my policy teams to sit down together."

The world body considers a strong relationship with the new White House essential, he said.

Issues Ban said he would stress with new president include the ongoing crisis on the economic, food, and energy fronts.

The secretary-general will need the assistance of the new Obama administration soon as the world body faces yet another budget crisis compounded by a controversial six-year plan to renovate its New York City headquarters.

The so-called Capital Renovation Plan, begun in May, is said to be at least $200 million over budget. The project has a projected cost of $2 billion, and the U.N. is concerned about entering the credit market in light of the global financial chaos.

Meanwhile, the diplomatic corps is abuzz concerning Obama’s choice to be ambassador to the U.N. Many say it is likely to be former President Bill Clinton.

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