Ban Ki-moon, New United Nations Chief

We don’t much care about the United Nations, do we?  The big news that the UN Security Council has selected the new Secretary-General was just announced, earning a slim column in the middle of today’s New York Times and hardly any coverage at all anywhere else.  Nobody was talking about it on the morning radio, and none of the top political blogs seem to care either. 

Ban Ki-moon is from South Korea, where he is currently serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs.  He has spent much of his political career within the United Nations bureaucracy.  I’m not sure what to think about the fact that he is apparently a member of the Unification Church founded by fellow South Korean Rev. Sun Myung Moon, an organization that is not well-regarded (but is also certainly not well-understood) here in the USA.

An incoming Secretary-General is expected to serve one or two five-year terms, which means we can expect Ban Ki-moon to be playing a dominant role in world affairs for the next ten years.  Given this fact, I wish there had been more public discussion about this selection (which will not be finalized until the General Assembly ratifies it, but all observers describe the appointment as a done deal). 

Here’s an article about Ki-moon from the Korea Times, which focuses on the coincidental timing of the latest news from North Korea on the day of Ki-moon’s selection. 

One Response to “Ban Ki-moon, New United Nations Chief”

  1. Stokely Says:

    So in 60 years there hasn’t been one American or Canadian capable of serving as UN Secretary-General? This is a problem. If the UN is to lead the planet, why is its leader always from a little nowhere country? That feels like a “don’t make waves” approach, not bold forward-thinking leadership.

    Another way of highlighting this problem would be to ask - why aren’t 192 member nations desperately pleading with the US to provide UN leadership? The answer to that is our own failure to lead in the direction of global peace and prosperity. We are a global superpower of backward-thinking little nationalists.

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