CBC reports that the UN's new General Secretary (CEO, "Ban Ki-moon [,] places 'own nuance' on death penalty policy" (Jan3,2k7):
Darfur ... 'high' on new UN Secretary General Ban's agenda.Africa > UN/Darfur
Ban told reporters the ongoing conflict in Darfur was "very high on my agenda."
Fighting in the troubled region has killed more than 200,000 people in the past few years and shows little signs of abating.
The former South Korean foreign minister also said he would meet Wednesday with the UN special envoy on Darfur, Jan Eliasson of Sweden, to discuss the situation, and would attend an African Union summit later this month in Ethiopia.
"By engaging myself in the diplomatic process, I hope that we will be able to resolve peacefully as soon as possible on these serious issues," Ban said.
The UN Security Council has proposed sending 20,000 troops to Darfur, but the Sudanese government has only agreed to allow a much smaller African Union force on its territory.
Sudanese forces bombed two rebel locations in Darfur the AU said Sunday, days after the head of the African Union's peacekeeping force visited the area and urged the rebels to join a ceasefire agreement.
Takes over from AnnanBan was sworn in Monday as the UN's eighth secretary general, succeeding Ghana's Kofi Annan, who held the chief post since 1997 and stepped down at the end of December.Ban has his challenges. May the Secretary General be granted God's grace in his responses to the great challenges of import to world law and international public justice. We know the UN is no panacea for the world's ills, but apparently it can have a very valuable role to play under Ban's administration.
"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ban. Not James Band," the 62-year-old diplomat announced to applause. "I am not code-named 007, but I will take my office in '07."
Ban has acknowledged the UN is going through hard times in the wake of violence raging in Iraq, unresolved fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, and efforts to stop Iran and North Korea from possibly developing nuclear warheads.
His arrival is expected to usher in some changes in response to criticism lodged against the organization.
"Unfortunately, there has been much criticism over the United Nations' inability and inefficiencies during the last many years," he said. "[The] UN needs to restore confidence."
With files from the Associated Press