Norway Envoy

UN Ambassador Blasts UN SG

UN Ambassador Blasts UN SGThe Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported today that Norway’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ms. Mona Juul, accused the United Nations Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon of  lack of charisma, weak leadership and angry outbursts.

The newspaper published the “confidential letter” to Norway’s foreign ministry from Ms. Juul, that included “At a time when the UN and multilateral solutions to global crises are more needed than ever, Ban and the UN are notable by their absence“.

Ms. Juul wrote 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 Ms. Juul criticized Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s “slow reaction” to the civil war in Sri Lanka.

Regarding the global financial crisis, Ms. Juul wrote “Ban has not managed to make the United Nations into the main arena and the g20-group has filled the vacuum“.

Regarding the global environmental crisis, Ms. Juul wrote “The United Nations struggles to be relevant” she added that “Ban’s vote on behalf of the world’s poor has hardly been registered.

Ms. Juul wrote that handling political crises are not Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s strength, she  described the Secretary General’s trip to Burma as “a shining example  for his lack of leadership and inability to deliver on behalf of the United Nations.

Ms. Juul wrote “In other crisis areas, such as Darfur, Somalia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and not in the least the Congo, the secretary general seems irresolute.

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Ms. Juul wrote “the moral voice and authority of the United Nations have been absent.”   Ms. Juul draw a picture of Mr. Ban Ki-moon as “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.

Ms. Juul also wrote “Ban routinely has angry outbursts that even levelheaded and experienced co-workers have trouble dealing with“. Ms. Juul added that the mood among Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s staff is “very tense“.

Ms. Juul’s letter is in tandem with many in the Obama Administration already talking about Mr. Ban Ki-moon not getting a new five-year term as Secretary General of the United Nations.

The UN Post has reported on the dire and urgent need for actual and significant UN Reform to correct the UN Mismanagement internally and externally.

M. Alaadin A. Morsy

The UN Postunpost.net • Copyright © 2009 • All Rights Reserved

8 thoughts on “UN Ambassador Blasts UN SG”

  1. UN’s grindingly slow wheels of real reform are often steered by self-interests and vested groups with big and fat egos. However, if individuals can change their thinking, attitudes and behaviours toward a more cooperative and collaborative living style, with caring and sharing, then it should be possible to change UN that is also made up of people. It will take time and efforts.

    The most effective transformative tool is the public opinion and public awareness. Thanks to internet technology and public space like https://www.unpost.net we should start the process of reaching out with full commitment. Then the rest will follow over time. God Bless.

  2. Well it is not easy to just begin to clean up the system. Decisions, particularly bad ones that placed inept and incompetent managers in place take years to reverse. How do you tackle this especially when a managers of this low calibre falls due to mismanagement, abusive practices, etc but is not removed from his/her position? The UDHR is for people outside the UN system as it does not even attempt to apply them to itself. This is pretty scary.

  3. Lessons of history and social psychology tell us that changes in the human situation and behavior happen, not just forced by external conditions and changes but, most importantly, driven and  motivated by inner calling.  That is why, we see the critical importance of “leadership”, that is right leadership with charisma to inspire and carry the followers with him/her. 
    Again, unfortunately even after 60+ years of toiling, UN has not become a fertile ground for such a leadership, though one would think that that should be an ideal setting to bring about the changes for the common good. 
    The reform should begin by removing all the mental and bureaucratic garbage, and revive and revitalize the foundation with policies, procedures and practices based on  the values enshrined in the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One may even wonder, how did the UN manage to draft and adopt a wonderful universally applicable secular “commandments” like the UDHR.
    The easy way to start this change is to practice the UDHR principles beginning with the UN Internal Justice System, that has a potential to spread rapidly the message of true reform and help make others in the system to change their behaviour for the better by re-wiring their inner motors.  

  4. Venkatarama Iyer Muthuswami

    Norwageian comments on the current UN Leadership charectaristics (or simply the lack of them) are understandable, but it was these governments in the developed countries that wanted a person like Ban-Ki-Moon to head the world organisation. Because these big countries can hope to manipulate the world affairs according to their own agenda, the recent example being the catastrophic events of COP15 at the climate summit at Copenhagen.

    Fortunately, this may not work all times: recent example being 2009 economic-financial crisis that transcended many a global calculations by the so called world powers. Now, the West seeks solutions thru the East to avoid repeatition of Wall Street mis-behaviours involving arrogance, incompetence and greed.

    The effectiveness of UN and its work will improve only when all the member states, especially those powerful ones, learn to abide by the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ensure none of the UN agencies, funds, programmes, etc. DO NOT operate in any manner contrary to the foundational principles of those constitutional architectures.

    1. That is absolutely correct, the big countries and especially the so called super powers wanted someone like Mr. Ban Ki-moon in order to control and manipulate the United Nations, and they were not disappointed in that regard.

      However, Ambassador Juul of Norway is absolutely correct about the accusations that she leveled against Mr. Ban Ki-moon as a weak leader and a lacking manager. In your other comment you described Mr. Boutros Ghali as lacking charisma, we believe that Mr. Ban Ki-moon lacks charisma much more than Mr. Boutros Ghali. However, charisma is not the only problem, it is unimaginable that the head of the UN would have such a flammable temper to make up for lacking management and interpersonal skills.

      The failure of the global financial system followed by the failure of the Copenhagen summit showed not only that the so called super powers need to learn the lesson that they enjoyed the spoils of WW II far too long, for more than 60 years, the age of the UN, and it is time to pay back some of these spoils.

      The failure of the global financial system and the failure of the Copenhagen summit also exposed the UN as inept and unable to be a few steps ahead of major global events, especially that the failure of the global financial system could have and indeed should have been predicted and addressed by the UN and its tens of organizations and thousands of economists and experts as well as the World Bank group including the International Monetary Fund.

    2. Ditto. It is so easy to criticise after crippling the organisation with inept and weak leadership – not only at New York but in several other venues too. Who should the world’s poor blame for this bad decision? Is this tyranny of the rich and mighty nations of Group B? And the voice of the developing countries was also conspiculously absent! Maybe it is not too late to right this wrong.

    3. Genuine UN reform with equal voice for all nations, with equal voice for NGOs and for governments alike, reform that is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reform that is based on justice inside the UN and globally, reform that ends the dictatorship of the current UN Security Council, reform that truly recognizes and rewards the dedicated service of many hardworking UN staff and UN retirees instead of punishing them through mysterious hiring and promotion procedures and suspicious abusive management attitudes… the list goes on and on… The point is, yes it is possible to right this wrong, and yes it is possible to reform the UN, IF we all play an active role in achieving genuine UN reform and not just leave it the big and powerful or to the UN bureaucrats.

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