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Ban Ki-moon takes over as UN Secretary-General.

In October, the 192-member UN General Assembly named South Korea's Ban Ki-moon to succeed retiring UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is required to leave after 10 years at the helm of the world body. Ban left his post as foreign minister of his country and formally took the office on December 14. Pledged to a comprehensive plan to "reform" the world body, Ban is the UN's eighth secretary-general and the second from Asia. Earlier in his diplomatic career, he served in his country's mission to the UN and is no stranger to the organization.

In his October speech accepting the appointment, Ban referred to a predecessor, U Thant of Myanmar (formerly Burma), for having "ably served the world four decades ago." Thant, as is well-known to serious students of the world body, followed in the footsteps of his predecessors at the UN as an anti-American and pro-Soviet apologist. In 1970, Thant stunned even some of his supporters with effusive praise for mass-murderer Vladimir Lenin as "a man with a mind of great clarity [whose] ideas have had a profound influence on the course of contemporary history." Ban also stated that Lenin's "ideals ... are in line with the aims of the UN Charter."

Ban even referred glowingly to the man he succeeds, outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The South Korean praised Annan for having "defined an ambitious agenda" for the world body. That agenda, bared by Annan frequently but especially in 2000, included the assertion that "state sovereignty ... is being redefined by the forces of globalization and international cooperation." In numerous other ways during his 10 years at the UN's highest post, Annan had indicated his disdain for national independence. This is the attitude Ban Ki-moon can be expected to follow.
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Title Annotation:Inside Track
Publication:The New American
Date:Jan 8, 2007
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