UN Secretary General: I have my own Charisma

UN Secretary General: I have my own Charisma

Upon arriving in Norway yesterday, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, responded to questions about the stinging criticism, we reported on August 19, from the leaked confidential letter to Norway's Foreign Ministry from Norway's Ambassador to the UN, Ms. Mona Juul, who described Mr. Ban Ki-moon as:

  • Ban and the UN are notable by their absence.
  • Ban has not managed to make the United Nations into the main arena and the g20-group has filled the vacuum.
  • Ban's vote on behalf of the world's poor has hardly been registered.
  • his lack of leadership and inability to deliver on behalf of the United Nations.
  • In other crisis areas, such as Darfur, Somalia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and not in the least the Congo, the secretary general seems irresolute.
  • the moral voice and authority of the United Nations have been absent.
  • irresolute, not engaging and not willing to share the limelight. The UN chief has a mentality that makes it very difficult to work with him.
  • Ban routinely has angry outbursts that even levelheaded and experienced co-workers have trouble dealing with.

Ambassador Juul also wrote in her "confidential letter" to Norway's Foreign Ministry that Mr. Ban Ki-moon showed "weak handling" of international challenges, he was a "passive observer" to the arrest of Myanmar's opposition leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and Ambassador Juul criticized Mr. Ban Ki-moon's "slow reaction" to the civil war in Sri Lanka.

For a more complete review of Ambassador Juul's criticism of Mr. Ban Ki-moon, please see our post  UN Ambassador Blasts UN SG.

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported that Mr. Ban Ki-moon responded yesterday to questions about the above criticism, by saying:

  • As Secretary General, I know that I am followed closely, and I accept all criticism. Personally I admit that it does not feel good to be criticized – but if the criticism is constructive, I will work to improve.
  • We face many challenges. I know that different countries have different expectations of the UN. The UN is a global agency and member states have different agendas. I am sure we can discuss this openly to arrive at the best possible solution for all parties.
  • I need support from the UN community that we are to tackle the impending crisis.
  • We need to respect that different countries have different management cultures.
  • I have my own charisma. I have my own leadership style.

Despite Mr. Ban Ki-moon's assertions about his "charisma" and his "leadership style" he did not address the specifics of the criticism of Norway's Ambassador, Ms. Mona Juul. It remains to be seen if Mr. Ban Ki-moon will ever address the specifics of Ms. Juul's stinging criticism.

M. Alaadin A. Morsy

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