Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ban Ki Moon and the Death Penalty

Ban-Ki-Moon, the new secretary general of the UN since January 1st 2007, hasn't started his mandate very well.
Questioned on the Italian proposal to end death penalty, Ban Ki Moon first rejected the idea on the grounds of national sovereignty. Then, today, he rectified his position through his office, claiming that he is against death penalty, but he believes the success of the motion is unlikely.

In short, Ban Ki Moon does not strike us immediately as a great communicator. Pity, the UN are not doing very well in terms of image and a strong President is the first requirement to build a new an improved image internationally. Let's give him the benefit of doubt.


Anonymous said...

I fully agree with this assessment. Yet, I would also like to remind all of us that at the end of the day it is , and has never been, the Secretary-General who is pushing the UN towards reform. As long as the permanent members of the Security Council are not ready to reform this organisation, it will remain what it has been now for sixty years, namely a toothless paper tiger that may make a difference only in the field of fighting poverty (yet not very sustainable!). Until then, and rather unfortunately, slip-offs by the Secretary-General just as his recent one will not make a real difference. One could also turn towards Kofi Annan and analyse his reign. Undoubtedly, statements like the one done Ban Ki Moon would never have come out of Mr Annan's mouth. Yet, that did not make him a better primus inter pares as he did not succeed to implement the objectives he declared at the beginning of his terms, i.e. to lead the UN into the 21st century and prepare it for its challenges.

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I never thought of it like that, but it really is true.