Ban Ki-moon announced today that he has formally offered to serve a second consecutive term as Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Mr. Ban told a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York that he has sent a letter to the Member States of the General Assembly and Security Council in which he has offered himself for consideration to continue to lead the UN.
“It has been an enormous privilege to lead this great Organization. If supported by the Member States, I would be deeply honoured to serve once more,” he said.
“Throughout my time in office, I have sought to be a bridge-builder – among the Member States, within the United Nations system and among a rich diversity of global partners. Finding common ground is central to delivering results.”
Mr. Ban, who took office as UN chief in January 2007, said the four-and-a-half years since he became Secretary-General “have marked a period of extraordinary challenge – for the United Nations and the international community.”
He said the UN can be proud of its accomplishments during this time, citing: the elevation of climate change to the top of the global agenda; the response to humanitarian emergencies, such as Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, last year’s floods in Pakistan and the earthquake that levelled much of Haiti in January 2010; and the continued focus on the needs of the world’s most vulnerable, particularly during the global economic crisis.
He also referred to the efforts made to promote peace in Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as to the so-called Arab Spring protest movement this year, which he called a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance freedom and democracy” in the region.
“Throughout all these remarkable developments, amid all these crises, the United Nations has been at the forefront. At a time of unprecedented global change, the world increasingly looks to us, the United Nations, to lead on the great collective issues of the day. That is our challenge as we look ahead.”
Mr. Ban called for “critical momentum” to be maintained on progress towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and he said a redoubling of efforts was needed to attain the social and economic targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He also said the successes of the world body have “largely been thanks to the extraordinary talents and dedication of our UN staff, who strive each and every day to make the world a better place.”
Mr. Ban, a national of the Republic of Korea and a former diplomat for that country, will serve through the end of 2016 if he wins a second term as Secretary-General. His current term runs out on 31 December.
He is the eighth man to serve as UN Secretary-General and is so far the only official candidate for the contest to lead the Organization between 2012 and 2016.