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Security Council recommends Kofi Annan for second term at UN's helm

Security Council recommends Kofi Annan for second term at UN's helm

Ambassador Chowdhury
The United Nations Security Council this morning unanimously recommended Kofi Annan, a native of Ghana who five years ago became the first UN staff member to serve as Secretary-General, to a second term at the Organization's helm.

In making the announcement, the Council President Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh, said the decision was taken "by acclamation, with the support of all members of the Council."

Calling the decision "momentous," Ambassador Chowdhury said the Council's action had been unprecedented. "The Council, as a gesture of its recognition of the very excellent work that Secretary-General Kofi Annan has done, has decided months ahead to recommend him for a second term." Past decisions by the Council on the appointment of the Secretary-General were taken much later in the year.

The Council President said he would convey the decision to the General Assembly, which is expected to act on this recommendation on Friday.

Mr. Chowdhury also described Mr. Annan's reaction upon hearing the news of the Council's decision, saying, "he's elated and he's very happy that the Council has joined in this unanimous action by acclamation."

For his part, the Secretary-General told a news conference this afternoon that he was "deeply honoured" by the Security Council vote. "I'm grateful for the trust and support they have given me," he said.

Mr. Annan's priorities as Secretary-General have been to revitalize the UN through a comprehensive programme of reform and to strengthen the Organization's activities in the traditional areas of development, the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of human rights. He also worked to advocate the rule of law and the universal values of equality, tolerance and human dignity found in the UN Charter; and to restore public confidence in the Organization by reaching out to new partners and, in his words, by "bringing the United Nations closer to the people."