UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ Joshua Lott)
NATIONS - Ban Ki-moon is planning to formally announce his candidacy
for a second five-term as UN secretary-general early next week, UN
diplomats said on Saturday.
The former South Korean foreign
minister had already received assurances of support from the United
States and other key members of the UN Security Council, diplomats said
in March, making his re-election all but certain.
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said on condition of anonymity that Ban planned to meet on Monday
morning with the so-called Asia Group, a cluster of UN member states
that includes nations from Asia and the Middle East, to discuss his
Afterward, he will hold a news conference at which he
will announce publicly he is running for a second term after his first
term ends on Dec. 31. Ban is unopposed so far.
"I think Ban
Ki-moon's chances of winning a second term under the circumstances are
as close to 100 percent as you can get," a Security Council diplomat
Officially, UN secretaries-general are elected by
the 192-nation UN General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security
In reality, it is the five permanent veto-wielding
council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States
-- that decide who gets the top UN job.
The decision by the five
is then rubber-stamped by the full 15-nation council and the assembly,
UN diplomats said. The formal re-election process for Ban should be over
by the end of June, they added.
Ban's understated approach and
less-than-perfect English set him apart from his more outspoken
predecessor, Kofi Annan, who ran afoul of the administration of then-US
President George W. Bush for declaring the 2003 invasion of Iraq
But diplomats praise Ban for his energetic support for the fight against climate change and push for nuclear disarmament.
Over the past four years, Ban has been accused by human rights groups of
putting too much faith in quiet diplomacy. They have also criticized
him for not taking China and other countries to task for what they say
are rampant rights abuses.
The secretary-general was hit with a barrage of criticism last year when
he failed to mention human rights or the jailing of Nobel Peace Prize
laureate Liu Xiaobo during a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in
China. Ban never congratulated Liu or called for the dissident's
But the secretary-general's recent support for military intervention in
Libya and Ivory Coast, and his public statements of support for
pro-democracy demonstrators in North Africa and the Middle East,
increased his standing in the United States and Europe, although it
clearly annoyed Russia and China.
Still, Russia and China have no serious objections to a second term for Ban and are expected to back him, envoys said.