The General Assembly adopted a resolution by acclamation Friday appointing South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon to succeed Kofi Annan as the next UN Secretary-general.
When Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, the assembly president, asked members of the 192-nation world body to adopt the resolution by acclamation, hundreds of diplomats and UN Staff in the chamber burst into loud applause.
She then banged the gavel saying “It is so decided.” “I have the honor to announce that His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon has been appointed by acclamation secretary-general of the United Nations,” she said. “This is a historic day for the organization as it continues to evolve and live up to the values and principles of the (UN) Charter.”
The council then voted by acclamation to recommend his selection. Ban will oversee an organization with some 92,000 peacekeepers around the world and a USD 5 billion annual budget whose reputation has been tarnished by corruption scandals and whose outdated practices need reform to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Gillerman recently stated that Ban's appointment was good for Israel's standing in the organization.
"He is a quiet, experienced and professional diplomat. He is not a man of fireworks, but nevertheless is very thorough, with a deep and clear understanding of the conflict. I believe that he understands Israel's stance," stated Gillerman.
'We believe he is the right person'
Gillerman added that he was hesitant to hold everything to the standard 'Is it good or bad for the Jews?' "If the secretary general is serious and fair and appoints underlings who are serious and fair, and the UN will be serious, clean and organized, this will be good for the Jews."
Ban, 62, will become the eighth secretary-general in the UN’s 60-year history on Jan. 1 when Annan’s second five-year term expires. He was one of seven candidates vying to be the UN chief and topped all four informal polls in the UN Security Council.
Annan hailed Ban as “A future secretary-general who is exceptionally attuned to the sensitivities of countries and constituencies in every continent” and said he would be “a man with a truly global mind at the helm of the world’s only universal organization.”
Ban has been South Korea’s foreign minister for over two and-a-half years and served as national security adviser to two presidents - jobs that focused on relations with North Korea which he has said will be a top priority in his new job. During a nearly 40-year diplomatic career, he was posted in India, Austria, Washington and at the United Nations.
Speaking for the United States as the host country of the UN, US Ambassador John Bolton said, “We believe he is the right person to lead the United Nations at this decisive movement in its history, particularly as the UN struggles to fulfill the terms of the reform agenda that world leaders agreed to last fall.”