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.

2 Responses to “Ban’s Candidacy”

  1. vestnik says:

    People in SK are fond of lofty goals however unattainable they may seem at first glance or even at… tenth glance. That’s very cute of them. My guess though, it is more of a PR campaign on their part, to boost SK’s image around the world. Practically speaking, SK is in the military alliance with US. That means her chances in Beiging and Moscow are extremely close to zero. They will probably hear an encouraging word or two in those capitals in response, may be paid some diplomatic respect, but no more than that. In my very humble opinion, of course.

  2. vestnik says:


    S. Korea will field candidate for U.N. top post: FM

    Feb. 6 (Yonhap) — South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said Monday that South Korea will actively join international efforts to reform the United Nations by fielding a candidate to lead the world peace body when incumbent leader Kofi Annan steps down.

    “The (South) Korean government will step up its leading role in building a 21st century-style U.N. by presenting a successor candidate to fill the U.N.’s top post based on the economic development and democratization (the country) has achieved,” Ban said while lecturing at a Paris university.

    While in New York last month, the South Korean foreign minister said his government is serious about fielding a candidate to be the next U.N. secretary-general.

    Ban said there was a “consensus” among U.N. member states that any successor should come from Asia.

    But he remained tight-lipped when quizzed on his own potential candidacy, saying there has been no official announcement to that effect from his government.

    “I firmly believe South Korea’s experience of reform and renovation can contribute meaningfully to reforming the United Nations,” Ban said in the lecture titled “Peace and Prosperity in Northeast Asia and South Korea’s Role.” “South Korea is a classic example of the successful embodiment of the U.N.’s idea,” the diplomat said.

    “Given its special relationship with the U.N., which has provided its wholehearted support and cooperation (to the country), South Korea has developed a greater intimacy and trust with the U.N. than any other country.” Ban has been rated by local and foreign media as one of the top contenders who could potentially succeed Annan, whose second term ends late this year.

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