As the ongoing crises in some of the world's hot spots - including Syria, the Central African Republic, Mali, Libya, Palestine and Darfur, Sudan - continue unabated, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday singled out some of the biggest challenges facing the international community in 2014.
When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was South Korea's foreign minister during 2004-2006, his answers to reporters were so predictably evasive the press corps in Seoul affectionately dubbed him "the slippery eel".
When the administration of President George W. Bush launched a military attack on Iraq in March 2003, it was nearly 18 months before Kofi Annan, then-U.N. secretary-general, described the invasion as "illegal" and in "violation of the U.N. charter" because the United States did not have Security Council authorisation.
After initially insisting that Syria give United Nations investigators unimpeded access to the site of an alleged nerve gas attack, the administration of President Barack Obama reversed its position on Sunday and tried unsuccessfully to get the U.N. to call off its investigation.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has refused to describe the Egyptian army's ouster of a democratically-elected government last month as a "military coup", lambasted the country's security forces for Wednesday's massacre of civilians in the streets of Cairo.
The immense scale of the Pacific Ocean, at 165 million square kilometres, inspires awe and fascination, but for those who inhabit the 22 Pacific island countries and territories, it is the very source of life. Without it, livelihoods and economies would collapse, hunger and ill-health would become endemic and human survival would be threatened.
“Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen, and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him.”
The Global Education First Initiative stands at the forefront of this week's Learning Ministerial Meetings in Washington, D.C., underscoring the importance of education in the development of the global economy.
When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Kiribati in 2011, he had "an unexpected insight" into the fear that stalks the Pacific Island nation.
The 132-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing nations, is challenging the longstanding prerogative of successive U.N. secretaries-general to appoint "special envoys" whose services are deemed gratis - and who are on nominal "one-dollar-a-year" employment contracts.
- The Geneva-based U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), described as a key forum for developing nations on issues relating to trade, investment and development, will have a new secretary-general come September.
A potential ad from the United Nations to be placed in a weekly London newsmagazine could possibly read: Vacancy for ex-head of government or ex-head of state; lucrative globe-trotting political assignments in Asia, Africa or Latin America; attractive per diem; first or business class travel; five star hotels; and guaranteed diplomatic immunity (including from the International Criminal Court).
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week designated Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, President of the 66th
session of the United Nations General Assembly, as High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, replacing Jorge Sampaio.
Brushing aside a warning by the Israeli government and rebuffing a campaign by pro-Israeli lobbying groups in the United States, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has decided to visit Iran next week to participate in the summit meeting of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), described as the world's largest single political coalition.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a former foreign minister of South Korea, is visibly emotional whenever he speaks about the striking political and economic achievements in his home country.