UNITED NATIONS, (Reuters) – The 192-nation U.N. General Assembly yesterday unanimously approved a second five-year term for U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, who analysts and diplomats see as a solid ally of Washington.
The former South Korean foreign minister, who took over from his predecessor Kofi Annan in 2007, was re-elected to the world body’s top job by acclamation starting Jan. 1, 2012.
Ban, 67, was unopposed, making his re-election a virtual certainty after the Security Council last week recommended he continue at the helm of the United Nations. He thanked the U.N. member states for the “great honour” they bestowed on him.
“I am humbled by your trust and enlarged by our sense of common purpose,” he said.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice welcomed Ban’s re-election to the post of secretary-general and praised his performance in “one of the toughest jobs in the world.”
“No one understands the burdens of this role better than he,” she said, adding that Washington was “grateful that he is willing to take them on.”
All the regional groups of U.N. member states backed Ban, including the Latin American and Caribbean group, the last to officially endorse his re-election.
U.N. officials and diplomats had said Cuba, Barbados and others held up the group’s endorsement amid complaints that Ban had neglected the region. Havana denied causing a delay.