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UN Security Council up for Ban-ki Moon for chief job

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South Korean foreign minister Ban Ki-moon emerged as the likely successor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday when an unofficial poll of Security Council members resulted in Ban being the only candidate to avoid a possible veto by one of the five permanent members of the council.

A formal ballot to choose the next Secretary-General has been scheduled for October 9.

The Security Council's recommendation will then go to the UN General Assembly for ratification which is usually a formality. Annan's term ends on December 31, 2006. He arcane procedure is now likely to move to a formal and binding endorsement of Mr. Ban.

On Monday the Security Council is expected to move to a vote, and then it would pass Mr. Ban's application to the full general assembly of the U N for approval by all 192 member nations.

The current general secretary, Kofi Annan, will complete his second five-year term at the end of the year. Tension has built in recent years between Mr. Annan and the Bush administration over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program.

The White House will be hoping that the minister from South Korea, a long-time ally of Washington, will provide a happier working relationship. Mr. Ban has worked for 35 years as a South Korean diplomat before entering the government, with lengthy postings to Washington and the UN. It is widely considered Asia's turn to hold the post of secretary general.

The 15 council nations checked one of three boxes for each candidate: "Encourage," "Discourage," and "No Opinion." In the next straw poll which was scheduled for Monday, October 2, the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council used different colored ballots than the other ten non-permanent members, and a single veto can make the whole race open once again inviting fresh candidates. According to the U.N. Charter, the Security Council pick has to be approved by the general membership which stands at 192 now.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said he would have preferred the colored ballot. "I look forward to a real vote on Monday, when we'll have two different (colored) ballots," he said.

By FW Editor

Tags: un, secretary, general

Category: Others  - ( Others Archive)

Date Added: 05 March '10

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