U.N.'s Ban Ki Moon emerges as dogged reformer
In his 15 months as UN secretary-general, he has insisted that the UN come to embody two qualities not always associated with it: efficiency and responsiveness.
United Nations, N.Y.
When two experts from a new United Nations crisis-prevention team were dispatched to help douse Kenya's postelection blaze – before they could even meet fellow team members in New York – it was pure Ban Ki Moon.
After 15 months as UN secretary-general, Mr. Ban has established a reputation as a diligent and dogged diplomat who insists that the UN come to embody two qualities not always associated with it: efficiency and responsiveness.
The two experts, who lent technical support to the high-profile (and ultimately successful) intervention by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, provide one example of how Ban is pushing to move the UN from a traditional stance of "why we can't" to one of "how we can."
The former South Korean foreign minister has also made some early missteps – showing perhaps too much disregard for the rules of the house, according to some, and ruffling the feathers of an ambassadorial corps accustomed to deference and patronage. Still, Ban is showing signs of making headway at the UN headquarters on New York's East River.
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