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Sunday, October 15, 2006


S. Korean foreign minister named next U.N. leader

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The General Assembly adopted a resolution by acclamation Friday appointing South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon to succeed Kofi Annan as U.N. secretary-general.

Ban, 62, will become the eighth U.N. secretary-general on January 1, when Annan's second five-year term expires.

He was one of seven candidates vying to be the U.N. chief and topped all four informal polls in the U.N. Security Council.

Hundreds of diplomats and U.N. staff members in the chamber broke into loud applause when assembly president Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa asked the 192-nation world body to adopt the resolution by acclamation. She then banged the gavel and said, "It is so decided."

Ban will oversee an organization with 92,000 peacekeepers around the world and a $5 billion annual budget. The United Nation's reputation has been tarnished by corruption scandals, and its outdated practices need reform to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The appointment of the South Korean official came less than a week after North Korea said it had tested a nuclear weapon, heightening tensions in the region. The claim has yet to be verified.

The security council will vote Saturday on whether to impose sanctions on North Korea, according to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. (Full story)

Annan hailed Ban as "a future secretary-general who is exceptionally attuned to the sensitivities of countries and constituencies in every continent," and said he would be "a man with a truly global mind at the helm of the world's only universal organization."

Written by CNN.

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