U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced his bid for reelection. In a news conference held in New York on Monday, he disclosed that he had asked the 192 member countries of the world body to consider him for a second five-year term. His current term ends Dec. 31.
Wire reports say Ban’s reelection is virtually assured, as he faces no opponents and has the backing of the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council ― the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain ― who must recommend him. An AP report said Ban likely has support from the entire General Assembly, predicting it would probably elect him by acclamation later this month.
Ban’s bid announcement was immediately followed by warm welcomes from the five Security Council members and many other countries. Even North Korea expressed its support for Ban. Sin Son-ho, the North’s ambassador to the U.N., said his country “actively supports” his second term.
Some may take Ban’s reelection for granted, citing the fact that six of the seven previous U.N. secretary-generals were reelected. But had he failed to make significant achievements during his first term, he could not have thought of seeking another.
One of Ban’s major achievements was his strong push for global efforts to tackle climate change. He played a central role in making climate change a top concern for governments around the world.
Ban was often criticized for his lack of charisma. But he showed he is a man of action this year by vocally supporting pro-democracy protests in North Africa and the Middle East.
Under his leadership, the United Nations could also respond quickly and effectively to devastating humanitarian emergencies in Myanmar, Haiti and Pakistan, and drawn-out conflicts in Sudan, Somalia and Congo.
These and other achievements must have helped Ban win trust from the member countries. Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, said he has always sought to be a bridge-builder among the member states because finding common ground is central to delivering results.
Ban said that if reelected, he would make the United Nations stronger and more effective in dealing with global challenges. He also said he would endeavor to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and put forward a new development agenda that goes beyond the MDGs.
Other priorities high on Ban’s agenda for the second term included a push for a tough reform of the U.N. secretariat and enhancing the world body’s capacity for humanitarian aid in case of a large-scale disaster and conflict.
We hope Ban is allowed to serve for the United Nations for another five years and expect him to contribute to making the world more peaceful, safer and fairer.