Britain Backs Ban for 2nd Term as U.N. Chief


Britain is supporting Ban Ki-moon for a second five-year term as U.N. chief, becoming the fourth permanent member of the U.N. Security Council to back him, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday.

"I am glad to support Ban Ki-moon in his candidacy for a second term as Secretary General of the United Nations," Cameron said in a statement.

The United States, China and France, also permanent Security Council members, have already announced they are backing Ban for a second term at the helm of the United Nations.

Russia is the only permanent council member which is yet to announce whether it is supporting the U.N. chief.

Cameron praised the 66-year-old former South Korean foreign minister, who formally put himself forward for a second term on Monday, for his commitment to the goals of the U.N. and pledged to offer Britain's continued support.

"He has championed and renewed the vital role of United Nations in tackling complex global challenges," said the prime minister.

"He has demonstrated a deep commitment to the goals of the United Nations -- goals which are central to Britain's values and interests too."

London would continue to offer Ban its "close support" on issues from conflict resolution to fighting poverty and disease, said Cameron.

"I welcome his determination to make the United Nations as efficient and effective as possible, and look forward to working with him as he develops the reform agenda," he added.

Ban, who took over as secretary general from Kofi Annan in 2007, has said he will make the battle against climate change his top priority and has defended the way he deals with world powers on issues such as human rights.

Diplomats say that with no challenger in sight, the U.N. Security Council should quickly give approval for a second term and the U.N. General Assembly will hold a formal vote before the end of June.