UN assembly approves 2nd term for UN chief Ban

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.

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