Wednesday, August 19, 2009

UN boss Ban Ki-Moon 'passive, throws fits'

( -A SENIOR Norwegian diplomat has slammed Ban Ki-Moon as lacking leadership, ineffectual and prone to angry outbursts, a daily reported today, just two weeks ahead of the UN chief's visit to Oslo.

Mona Juul, the Norwegian ambassdor to the UN, sent a damning confidential letter to her ministry half-way through Mr Ban's mandate, in which she said he had "hardly shown any leadership,'' Aftenposten reported.

The newspaper, which obtained a copy of the letter, said Ms Juul also described Mr Ban as being "passive,'' especially in hotspots such as Sri Lanka, where a decades-long rebel insurgency was brought to an end by a bloody government offensive.

"At a time when solutions by the UN and multilateral agencies are more necessary than ever to resolve global conflicts, Ban and the UN are notable by their absence,'' she reportedly wrote.

The Norwegian foreign ministry has not commented on the report so far.

Ms Juul, who played a leading role in brokering the Oslo accords which led to a peace agreement being signed in 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said Mr Ban had been a "passive observer'' in Sri Lanka.

She said he had also displayed his weakness in the face of the global financial crisis, on environmental issues and the situation in Myanmar where opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been in detention for decades.

"Ban regularly throws a fit which even his most cool-headed and experienced collaborators have a problem in dealing with,'' she wrote.

The South Korean-born Mr Ban is due to visit Norway on August 31.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told the newspaper that Ban was a "worker'' and a good listener.

Agence France-Presse

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