Krauss on Annan's Successor at the United Nations

The United Nations will likely have South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon as its new Secretary-General when Kofi Annan steps down after 10 years in that role predicts Professor Michael Krauss in a TCS Daily op-ed. "Since the UN Charter provides little guidance regarding the selection process and no provisions as to the qualifications of the organization's chief administrative officer, international consensus has settled on the 'lowest common denominator' candidate for the job--usually a mediocrity," writes Krauss.

Going South, TCS Daily, October 6, 2006. By J. Peter Pham and Michael I. Krauss.

"The military coup in Thailand has essentially torpedoed the prospects of Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, who had been endorsed by the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN) and purportedly backed by China. The man left standing, and current frontrunner for Secretary-General after the informal Security Council vote on Monday (which will be formalized next week), is South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon. In Mr. Ban the world body will have one-upped Kofi Annan: whereas on the eve of his election the latter had been guilty of past dereliction, the former stands before the world community in 2006 complicit in ongoing horror.

"At a time when one of the major challenges to international security is Kim Jong-Il, the UN is set to get as its chief an appeaser of and apologist for the North Korean despot. From 1992 to 1995, Mr. Ban did a stand-up job as his country's representative to the Joint Nuclear Control Commission, established pursuant to the 'Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula' (a scrap of paper we now know the North Koreans never tried to honor). Then he was appointed national security advisor to the South Korean president. He obviously did well there too, and was promoted to the position of vice-minister of foreign affairs and trade just in time to be caught flat-footed by North Korea's 2002 admission that it had continued to pursue its nuclear program.

"Nevertheless, Ban's career prospered, especially after Roh Moo-hyun ascended to the South Korean presidency with promises of even friendlier relations with the North. Ban became the new president's foreign policy advisor and, since 2004, his foreign minister."

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