Ban to seek second term as head of UN

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The Independent Online

Ban Ki-Moon is to seek a second term as Secretary General of the United Nations. He formally announced his candidacy yesterday, noting that he had approached the job during his first term as a "bridge-builder" at a time of unprecedented global change. "That is our challenge as we look ahead," he said.

Mr Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, is almost certain to get the job as he has no known opponents. He has been criticised for his low-key style, his lack of charisma, and his failure to criticise human rights abuses in powerful countries, especially China and Russia.

But he has won praise for putting climate change at the top of his agenda, for his commitment to women and nuclear disarmament, and for his recent support for pro-democracy movements in North Africa and the Middle East and for military intervention in Ivory Coast and Libya.

Also yesterday Mr Ban met UN representatives from Asian nations and won their endorsement for a second term, he said. He planned to meet other regional groups over the next few days "to humbly seek their support".

The UN Security Council must now give a positive recommendation to Mr Ban's candidacy, with at least nine "yes" votes and no veto by a permanent member – the US, Britain, France, Russia or China.

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