Ban’s heavy responsibility

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Ban’s heavy responsibility

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was re-elected yesterday to serve a second five-year term in a unanimous decision at the UN General Assembly in New York. He will begin his second term on the first day of January next year.

His re-election was supported by 192 member states of the international organization. Fifteen members of the UN Security Council - including the five permanent members - proposed a bill recommending that he serve consecutive terms, and all member countries passed it.

We heartily congratulate him on his re-election as the head of the world body.

Among the seven UN secretary generals before Ban, only Boutros Boutros-Ghali - the sixth one - failed to be re-elected because of discord with the United States over the Bosnian Genocide in 1995. Considering that the UN customarily grants its chief a second term, Ban’s re-election may not be a surprise.

The process leading up to his re-election, however, was not so smooth. Ban suffered criticism from the Western media for his lack of charisma and for his silence on human rights abuses in China, in addition to mounting internal resistance against his efforts to reform the Secretariat.

But he overcame the obstacles with signature leadership based on internal strength, diligence and sincerity. In particular, he pursued an aggressive engagement policy in the Ivory Coast, which was recently torn apart by a civil war after their presidential election. He silenced his critics by standing firmly by the people who fought for democracy in the Middle East and North Africaa.

As he said in his acceptance speech, we are living in an age of integration and interconnectivity. No matter how strong a country may be, it can’t solve all problems alone, making the UN a critical organization for mediating and coordinating global issues.

He has to confront a multitude of challenges like climate change, sustainable growth, poverty, famine, human rights abuses and ending the proliferation of nuclear arms, all of which pose a direct threat to the peace and security of the global village.

He should address these conundrums during his second term. We hope he will have a significant impact on the peace and stability of the world by surpassing the boundary of his nationality and maintaining a neutral and fair attitude befitting his position in global diplomacy.

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