UN Chief announces bid for second term, cites human rights in Sri Lanka as priority

June 07, New York: The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday announced that he has formally offered the Member States his bid for a second consecutive term in office.

The UN Chief 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 offering himself for consideration to continue to lead the UN.

Addressing the media, Ban said it has been an enormous privilege to lead the great Organization and if Memeber States supported he would be deeply honoured to serve once more.

The four-and-half years, since his appointment as UN Chief in January 2007, has been an extraordinarily challenging period and he is proud of what the Organization has accomplished in that time, Ban said.

Responding to media questions the UNSG said, as one of the three pillars of the United Nations Charter, human rights has been always placed on the top priority together with peace and security, and development and he has been speaking out on the human rights issues in the world.

Noting that the background and dimensions of United Nations involvement has been sometimes different on different cases of human rights violations, Mr. Ban said he has paid attention to the cases of Sri Lanka.

“I have been speaking out to the cases of Sri Lanka; I have established this Panel of Experts and I have issued this Panel’s report. The Member States are now in the possession of all this, aware of all this report,” the UNSG said.

When asked about the follow-up on the recommendations made by the Panel of Experts in their report, the UNSG said most of the recommendations of the Panel’s report concern steps which the Sri Lankan Government needs to take.

“Beyond what I can do within the UN to review its actions during the final stage of conflict, much will depend on the Government of Sri Lanka and the Member States who have been studying this report,” he said.

The UN Chief commented that addressing the issue of accountability will be an essential step towards lasting peace and stability in Sri Lanka and pledged to discuss the matter with the Sri Lankan government.

“I will continue to discuss this matter with the Sri Lankan leadership so that they will implement fully the recommendations in this Panel’s report,” he said.

The UNSG reiterated that first and foremost, the Sri Lankan Government needs to take proper action and that is what the international community expects from the government.

Ban said he is awaiting the response of the Sri Lankan Government to the report.

“I am checking almost every day, every week so that they will send their response as soon as possible. That can give me further review on their response,” he remarked.

The Sri Lankan government has rejected the Panel’s report, which is dubbed as Darusman report, as ‘fundamentally flawed in many respects’ and ‘based on patently biased material which is presented without any verification.’ The government has not yet responded to the report formally.

Ban is virtually assured a second term as he has the support of four of the five nations with veto powers – Britain, France, the United States and China- and no other candidate has emerged to challenge him yet.

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