[will the real secretary-general please stand up?]

Topic: United Nations

Will Ban Ki-moon be the next secretary-general of the United Nations?

The foreign minister of the Republic of Korea is running hard to be Kofi Annan’s replacement, and Korea Focus is calling him a favorite. Two early candidates, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Sri Lankan peace negotiator Jayantha Dhanapala, have stumbled, leaving Ban as the most obvious Asian choice. And according to the informal rotation system, it’s Asia’s turn. America’s ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said early on that the rotation formula could be scrapped if no viable candidate emerged, but that’s quite different from saying it must be scrapped, and Korea Focus seems to think Bolton’s recent meeting with Minister Ban went well.

Still, the United Nations has tended to settle on dark-horse compromise candidates in the past, and chances are good that the next Secretary-General will be a name as familiar as Kofi Annan’s in 1996. Outside of the Korean press, the only source I can find that touts Minister Ban as the likely next SG is The American Spectator, which I generally think is wrong about everything.

Also published on Medium.