Ban Ki-moon, the new U.N. secretary-general, has done some unusual things to kick off his tenure. At the recent annual dinner of the U.N. Correspondents Association in New York, for instance, he entertained the guests briefly by singing, to the tune originally written for Santa Claus, his own arrangement: "Ban Ki-moon is coming to town."
Today Ban is coming to the United States, his first visit since assuming office on Jan. 1. The former South Korean foreign minister has already made it clear that he intends to be a different kind of "SG" from his predecessor. The United States backed Ban for his new post, largely with such a change in mind. Nonetheless, his first few days in office have already raised some questions. The struggle is under way to determine what sort of leader Ban will be: Will the status quo of the U.N. system overwhelm him, or will he follow his instincts and those of his supporters, including Washington?
By Nicole Belle — January 20, 2007