Monday, October 02, 2006

After Annan, Ban

If the vote taken today by the UN Security Council holds up, Ban Ki-moon of South Korea will be the next secretary general of the UN.

Ballots in the Security Council at this stage in the election process "encourage," "discourage," or "express no opinion" on candidates. Ban was "encouraged" by fourteen of the Council's fifteen members. One member, not identified, expressed no opinion.

An informal norm at the UN requires that the secretary general's position be rotated among the different regions of the world. The last Asian to serve as secretary general was U Thant of Burma, who occupied the post from 1961 to 1971.

For more on the role of the secretary general, go here. Information on previous secretaries general is available here.