Ban’s Candidacy

I think it is fair to say that Ban is clearly in the running.

Although “[n]o official announcement had been made by the Korean government nominating Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon for the position of UN Secretary General” (email from ROK Embassy in Washington), the Minister’s diplomatic rounds apparently includes discussions of his prospective nomination.

Yesterday, Ghanan Minister for Foreign Affairs Nana Akufo-Addo discussed Ban’s candidacy over lunch with his Korean counterpart.

“We are aware that your excellency is a candidate for the position of secretary-general of the UN in succession to our illustrious compatriot, Kofi Annan,” Akufo-Addo told Ban. However, he said, Ghana would take a decision in concert with members of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union. “We will keep your candidature under close scrutiny and continue to consult within the wider West African family, so that we can support a common candidate who will enjoy our common support for the good of the organization.”

A Korea Times article – while wrongly suggesting Ban would be the first Asian to head the UN if chosen – reports that the day after participating on a Davos panel with fellow candidates Vīķe-Freiberga and Dhanapala, Ban suggested his experience in inter-Korean negotiations “will help (me) perform in the U.N. secretary general post and become a good asset.”

(What the “(me)” originally was is unknown. The interview has not been reported elsewhere and an email inquiry to the paper bounced.)

More: During the January 17th press conference, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton noted that, during Minister Ban’s visit to New York, he and the Minister discusses a number of issues, his candidacy being one of them.

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