09 June 2011
Ban Ki Moon received China's endorsement for his bid for a second term as UN Secretary General, giving a boost to his campaign. China's permanent representative to the UN, Li Baodong, speaking in New York, described Ban as a good candidate who had made significant contributions to international affairs, peace and development.
"China supports Mr Ban Ki-Moon's bid for re-election, and hopes that he will gain the extensive support from all parties" said Li.
Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, has thus secured the backing of five veto-wielding members of the Security Council, namely, the US, UK, France, Russia and China.
The Chinese and Russian endorsement comes despite their fierce criticism of him for his role in Kosovo's secession and current support for pro-democracy rebels in the Arab spring protests.
See our earlier post: 'A supremely pragmatic actor'.
Ban who is now moving the focus of his campaigning to other regional groups, including Africa, Latin America and other Western nations, is hotly tipped to be elected for a second term.
His first term was not without controversy however.
Ban has been severely criticised for the UN's perceived failure to pursue human rights allegations promptly and thoroughly, particularly the impotency and sheer reluctance exhibited during the massacre of upto 130,000 Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan military in 2009. In leaked US cables, Norway's former deputy UN ambassador, Mona Juul, denigrated Ban as a "powerless observer".
His appointment of a Panel of Experts to investigate the question of war crimes in Sri Lanka was deemed a delayed but nonetheless vital development.
The report subsequently published, citing 'credible allegations' of war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government, was welcomed by all key players including international human rights groups, the US and the UK.
The report released has made the Secretary-General a symbol of hate in Sri Lanka, where the Sri Lankan goverment, the Sri Lankan media and the wider public have dismissed the report and its findings as biased.
Speaking at a news conference in New York, Ban Ki Moon pledged that "advancing human rights and international justice" were now among his top priorities.