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UN chief's reelection campaign gathers pace

5 June 2011 03:53 pm - 27     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Ban Ki-moon's campaign for a second term as United Nations leader gathers pace on Monday when he is to formally announce that he wants to stay on as secretary general, diplomats said.

With no declared rival for the post and none of the five permanent members of the Security Council opposing Ban, the 66-year-old former South Korean foreign minister is certain to get a new five year term, envoys said.

His current mandate ends on December 31 but the Security Council powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- want to see the selection process handled quickly, diplomats said.

Ban will hold a press conference on Monday, following a meeting with the Asian group of nations at the UN, at which he is expected to announce his formal candidacy.

Approval by the 15-member Security Council approval and then a vote at the 192 country UN General Assembly should then be pushed through by the end of June, according to UN envoys.

"It is 100 percent certain that he will get the post again," said one envoy from a Security Council member.

Ban made a quiet start to his term as the successor to Kofi Annan in 2007. Some envoys say his awkward English has not helped his image. He championed the battle against global warming but the collapse of the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit was a blow.

He also insists that quiet diplomacy is sometimes necessary but has been criticized by rights groups for not speaking out more forcefully against rights abuses in major countries like China.

Ban suffered particular criticism from rights groups for not speaking publicly about China's detention of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo last year.

But he has been praised by western nations for his strong stance on the Ivory Coast crisis and defending protesters taking part in the uprisings that erupted this year across the Middle East and North Africa.

He has repeatedly tangled by telephone in recent months with Moamer Kadhafi of Libya, Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, chiding them as diplomatically as possible for not giving their people more freedom.

The action annoyed China and Russia which oppose what they consider unjustified interference in a country's domestic affairs.

"But he is skilled at acting and speaking in a way so that none of the permanent five (Security Council powers) can really complain," said a UN diplomat.

And Ban has been to the capitals of all of the permanent members, who could in theory veto his reappointment, in recent months to shore up his support.

The UN leader has a strict work discipline getting into the office at 7:30am and often staying to make calls around the world until past 8:00pm. He is also one of the best-travelled world leaders, clocking up hundreds of thousands of air miles each year.

On top of his defence of Arab protesters, Ban has also earned praise for his aggressive championing of women's rights. He set up a special UN super agency for women which is now run by former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet.

Ban has also made nuclear disarmament a special cause.

A career diplomat, Ban attended Seoul National University in the 1960s when he took part in pro-democracy protests in South Korea. (AFP)


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  Comments - 27

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  • Konde Bendapuchhena Monday, 06 June 2011 07:54 AM

    LTTE Diaspora funds will be move around

    indika Monday, 06 June 2011 03:50 AM

    Ban BAN !

    Wara Monday, 06 June 2011 03:51 AM

    What for ??

    mark fernando Monday, 06 June 2011 04:03 AM

    MR MOON IS A GREAT GENTLEMAN.HE DESERVE THE SECOND TERM TOO TO SERVE THIS TROUBLE WORLD MORE.

    Dias Monday, 06 June 2011 04:05 AM

    No dear this time you will be out 100/%

    kalusudda Monday, 06 June 2011 04:10 AM

    It is Weerawansa Time - Go to Geneva and start your business.

    Guru Monday, 06 June 2011 04:47 AM

    You should get out and someone with a strong backborne should be appointed.

    Sean Monday, 06 June 2011 04:50 AM

    Why blame Moon for the sins of our Govt.?

    Bumba Sunday, 05 June 2011 04:04 PM

    Sri Lanka will not allow Mr. Moon to go uncontested. May I suggest Modawansa or the Doctor to contest for this post.

    Adaran Sunday, 05 June 2011 04:06 PM

    It is Sri Lanka's utmost duty to ensure that not only Ban Ki-moon loses the election but also an anti-western person is appointed as the UNSG.

    Abdur Razzak Monday, 06 June 2011 05:19 AM

    let any one comment any thing, it's a no contest battel for moon. it's going to be full-moon again !

    Lakshman Sunday, 05 June 2011 04:17 PM

    No, Mr.Moon, Now is the time to go home. You are a double standered person.

    Fayad Sunday, 05 June 2011 04:15 PM

    Go home mate, world need a much better secretary general
    than you.

    gayan Monday, 06 June 2011 05:32 AM

    Let the clown stay. He needs a job This is a recession no.

    UK TAMIL BOY Sunday, 05 June 2011 05:08 PM

    We had enough of you because you haven't done your job properly.

    UK TAMIL BOY Sunday, 05 June 2011 05:12 PM

    GIVE A CHANCE TO SOMEONE ELSE (A GOOD PERSON)

    sena Sunday, 05 June 2011 06:04 PM

    his main rival is a rubber stamp

    kalum Sunday, 05 June 2011 06:09 PM

    No ban again

    Sammy Monday, 06 June 2011 06:02 AM

    Let's have a new Moon.

    athula Monday, 06 June 2011 06:03 AM

    Ask for a divorce - after the Honey moon

    sanathek Sunday, 05 June 2011 08:03 PM

    you are a another puppet of western and powerfull nations. we are against you . go home

    wisdom Sunday, 05 June 2011 08:27 PM

    you will need all the help from the tigers!

    mike Monday, 06 June 2011 06:07 AM

    yes great gentlemen but no action haha! what a fool

    victoria Sunday, 05 June 2011 11:39 PM

    Disprove the allegation made by the UNSG pannel to get rid of Moon ? Why just contine barking at the Moon??

    nimal Sunday, 05 June 2011 11:42 PM

    As a Asian we proud of you..........best of luck.

    ----baba----- Monday, 06 June 2011 12:11 AM

    Though we have some problem with Mr. Moon, pls. don't insult him in that level by suggesting those two alternatives.

    Godaya Monday, 06 June 2011 12:29 AM

    Yes, Doctor Mervyn will be the ideal one, cos he can "punish anyone before going to courts".


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