Friday, September 15, 2006

Meet the next head of the UN

Although it remains true that there are many a slip between cup and lip, it looks as though South Korea's Foreign Minister will be the UN's next Secretary General:
SOUTH KOREA’S Foreign Minister emerged yesterday as the clear front-runner to become the next United Nations Secretary-General.

Ban Ki Moon won support from 14 of the 15 Security Council members in the latest straw poll to pick a successor to Kofi Annan at the end of the year.

The secret ballot came when Mr Ban was in Washington for a summit between President Bush and Roh Moo Hyun, the South Korean leader.

“We are determined to make a decision on the next Secretary-General by the end of September or early October, so we are going to press ahead in that direction,” John Bolton, Washington’s UN Ambassador, said.

The cautious Mr Ban, who became Foreign Minister in January 2004, has played a key role in the North Korean nuclear stand-off, where South Korea is a partner of China, Japan, Russia and the United States in six-party talks with Pyongyang. [...]

Most UN members believed that the next UN chief should come from Asia under an informal system of rotation, because Asian nations agreed to support Boutros Boutros Ghali and Mr Annan for three consecutive African turns. Mr Ban made a surprisingly strong showing yesterday, picking up two more positive votes than he did in the Security Council’s first straw poll in July. [....]
Wiki entry on Mr. Ban