Minister for Foreign Affairs Welcomes Appointment of New Secretary General of the United Nations
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern TD, has welcomed the appointment of Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon of the Republic of Korea as Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Speaking today the Minister said: “I congratulate Minister Ban Ki-Moon on his election and wish him every success in his demanding role. The United Nations has been the cornerstone of Irish foreign policy since we joined the organisation in 1955. Our relationship with the Secretary-General of the day has always been an important dimension of our UN membership. We see the Secretary-General as not only the Chief Administrative Officer of the Organisation as described in the Charter, but also as the world's top diplomat, who has a right and a duty to bring situations that threaten international peace and security to the attention of the Security Council.
“Mr Ban has had a distinguished career and has been widely respected as his country's Foreign Minister. He comes to the post as the centrality of the United Nations to the international order is once again in sharp focus. He will face many challenges, including ongoing threats to peace and security, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and reform of the United Nations itself. Ireland has been to the forefront in supporting these vital goals and we offer our full support to Mr Ban Ki-Moon as he endeavours to reach them. We look forward to working with him and his team over the years ahead.”
The Minister concluded: “Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Kofi Annan for his visionary leadership in turbulent times, and wish him well in whatever course he sets in his retirement from the United Nations.”
Note for Editors
The UN Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. The Charter describes the Secretary-General as "chief administrative officer" of the Organization, who shall act in that capacity and perform "such other functions as are entrusted" to him or her by the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and other United Nations organs. The Charter also empowers the Secretary-General to "bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security". This provision has allowed the role of Secretary General to evolve and expand well beyond that of an administrative officer. The position has rotated among four of the five UN regional electoral groups (Western Europe and Others, Africa, Asia, Latin America). Kofi Annan's second five-year term expires at the end of December 2006.
13th October 2006