U.N. Secretary-General Ban Receives Preliminary Support For Second Term

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “has received preliminary pledges of support for a second five-year term … from the United States and other key members of the Security Council, U.N. diplomats said,” Reuters reports in an article that examines Ban’s first term at the U.N., set to end on Dec. 31. Although Ban has yet to officially announce his candidacy for re-election, diplomats say Ban has expressed interest in doing so.

“Officially, U.N. secretaries-general are elected by the 192-nation U.N. General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council,” Reuters continues. “In reality, however, it is the five permanent veto-wielding council members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – who decide who gets the top U.N. job. … The decision by the five is then rubber-stamped by the full 15-nation council and the assembly, diplomats said on condition of anonymity,” according to Reuters. The news service notes the council hopes to have made its recommendation for the post by May, which will be followed by a General Assembly vote in June.

“Ban’s already received preliminary shows of support from (U.S. President Barack) Obama and the leaders of Britain and France,” a diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters. “Russia and China won’t oppose him. I think it’s safe to say that he’ll keep his job,” the diplomat added.

The article describes some of the praise and criticism Ban has faced during his tenure at the U.N., and contrasts his approach to that of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was more outspoken than Ban, according to Reuters (Charbonneau, 3/24).

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