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S. Korea's Ban Is Next U.N. Chief

October 14, 2006|From the Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — The General Assembly on Friday appointed South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon to succeed Kofi Annan as U.N. secretary-general.

Ban, 62, will become the eighth secretary-general in the U.N.'s 60-year history Jan. 1, when Annan's second five-year term expires. He was one of seven candidates vying to be the U.N. chief and topped all four informal polls in the Security Council.

Ban will oversee a sprawling bureaucracy of 9,000 workers, a $5-billion annual budget, aid agencies and 18 peacekeeping operations that span the globe.

The South Korean diplomat has said he intends to see through reforms begun by Annan, while moving the organization into a more active role and seeking to soothe relations strained by global turmoil since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

"Let us remember that we reform not to please others but because we value what this organization stands for. We reform because we believe in its future," he said Friday. "We should demand more of ourselves as well as of our organization."

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