Is Mr Ban holding up his job as UN Secretary General?

17 Jul

Jonathan Steele, in an article for The Guardian, says it is time for Mr Ban Ki-moon, who has been the Secretary General of the UN, to speak up and speak out.

In his column, Steele pointed out a few shortcomings such as his staff appointments with few UN experience; people who considered him as having little understanding of UN culture; or gaffes such as his support for the death penalty after the execution of Saddam Hussein.

I concur with the columnist. Mr Ban seems to be a polite diplomat who has not taken some of the countries to task for their human rights abuse (which I shall explain later).

While it is understandable that being the UN Secretary General entails maneouvering political landmines, it does not mean that he or she should remain silent when it comes to certain global political especially human rights issues.

According to the UN site, the role of the secretary general is, “Equal parts diplomat and advocate, civil servant and CEO… and a spokesman for the interests of the world’s peoples, in particular the poor and vulnerable among them… “

Yet, the secretary general has not commented on some of the important tasks at hand including the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in the Middle East which has seen greater civil strife since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip; or the human rights abuses perpetuated by the Chinese government while it is preparing to host the upcoming 2008 Olympics. His latest remark on US involvement in Iraq is considerably muted when he advised the super power to ‘practise caution in troops withdrawal’.

To quote from Steele, the Secretary General “needs to speak up and speak out. No chance of this from Ban, to judge by his record thus far.”


One Response to “Is Mr Ban holding up his job as UN Secretary General?”

  1. larrylaffer July 20, 2007 at 1:58 pm #

    Unfortunately the UN is becoming less and less relevant.

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