By Merle David Kellerhals Jr.
IIP Staff Writer
07 June 2011
Washington — President Obama supports U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s bid for a second term as head of the world’s largest international organization, the White House said June 7.
“Under Ban’s leadership, the United Nations has played a critical role in responding to crises and challenges across the globe, including most recently supporting democratic transitions in Côte d’Ivoire and earthquake-affected Haiti, the conduct of the referendum on South Sudan’s self-determination, and efforts to resolve the political and humanitarian crisis in Libya,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a prepared statement.
At a June 6 press conference, Ban formally announced he was seeking a second five-year term.
“This morning, I sent a letter to the membership of the General Assembly and the Security Council, offering, humbly, myself for consideration for a second term as secretary-general of the United Nations,” Ban told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.
“Throughout my time in office, I have sought to be a bridge-builder — among the member states, within the United Nations system and among a rich diversity of global partners,” Ban added. “Finding common ground is central to delivering results.”
He has already won the support of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — but the final decision rests with the entire U.N. General Assembly. The South Korean foreign minister from 2004 to 2006, Ban began his first term in January 2007.
“The United Nations is an imperfect but indispensable institution,” Carney said. “The secretary general has made important reforms, such as increasing the hiring of women to senior posts and proposing the deepest reduction in the U.N.’s budget in more than a decade.”
Carney’s statement said the United States “strongly supports further efforts for reform to improve effectiveness, streamline bureaucracy, reduce costs, and update business practices to improve the United Nations’ ability to meet its mandate to promote global peace and security, human rights and development.”