Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

A good start for Ban Ki-Moon

Posted in Uncategorized by Adam Westbrook on January 27, 2007

Three weeks in and the new Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon’s begun his first foreign tour. And he’s chosen Africa as his first stop.

Ban Ki-MoonToday he’s been in Kinshasa, the capital of a country which let’s just say had an eventful 2006. After months of wrangling, violence and uncertainty, elections were held in the D.R. Congo; the country can now justify the “democratic” part of its name.

Incombent Joseph Kabila won convincly with his rival Jean-Pierre Bemba joining the opposition…the country now seems on a more stable tack.

Addressing the Congolese national assembly today, Ban Ki-Moon hailed last years elections as a sign of hope for the country and urged law makers to start a “good governance pact” to see it continue.

After this, the UN Sec-Gen’s heading to the African Union summit in Ethiopia and meeting the not-so-applauded Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir.

A good sign

To visit these countries first is a promising sign. It shows that Ban Ki-Moon’s serious about following his predecessor Kofi Annan’s commitment to peace on the African continent.

It would be easy for the South Korean to put more emphasis on problems closer to home, like the North Korean nuclear missile issue, but he’s made it clear that issue won’t take the spotlight off Africa.

And with Darfur still rumbling on, often without notice, Ban’s come at the right time.

Kofi AnnanBut we can’t get our hopes up too much. Africa was Kofi Annan’s mission too, taking his post in the raw years after the Rwandan genocide. And while victories for peace and progression have come in some places, like Liberia, Sierra Leone and D.R. Congo, Somalia only got worse and now Sudan’s in turmoil.

With so many concerted efforts gaining pace elsewhere to erradicate malaria and tackle HIV, Ban Ki-Moon needs to show he’s not all talk but a leader who can tie these threads together and really make change happen.
He’s got 10 years, starting from now.

4 Responses

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  1. Dear Aunaetitrakul said, on January 27, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    I agree with you about Ban Ki-Moon. What I’m interested to know about him is: what does he think of the U.S and its involvement in Iraq? As you probably know, Cofi and U.S relation went horrbily bad after the whole Iraqi situation. President Bush started to ignore U.N until the recent nuclear test by North Korea.

  2. adamwestbrook said, on January 27, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    I don’t know the answer to that…but Iraq was kind of Kofi’s undoing…or at least it distracted him far too much from what he should have been doing.

    Hopefully Bush will consider reopening relations with the UN now theres a new person in charge. But either way, Bush is out in 2 years and Bans here for another 10! He’ll see a few more presidents come and go i would imagine.

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. Antibush said, on February 13, 2007 at 1:53 am

    Bush is forever saying that democracies do not invade other countries and start wars. Well, he did just that. He invaded Iraq, started a war, and killed people. What do you think? Why has bush turned our country from a country of hope and prosperity to a country of belligerence and fear.
    If ever there was ever a time in our nation’s history that called for a change, this is it!
    We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!

  4. shiehefrofips said, on October 26, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Heh.. Sometimes I can’t help but surrender to my mysterious reluctance A joke for you peoples! Why did the big moron fall off the roof and the little moron didn’t? Because he was a little more on.


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