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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air: Ban Ki Moon

To help combat the stink of corruption that has been what the UN has stood for since Kofi Annan has been secretary general of the United Nations, the new secretary Ban Ki Moon has already shown himself to a be a breath of fresh air and a voice of reason.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said Tuesday that Iraq and other countries have the right to impose the death penalty, adding that the world should never forget Saddam Hussein's "heinous crimes."

Ban's first public reaction to Hussein's execution signaled a sharp break from his predecessor, Kofi Annan, an ardent death-penalty critic who opposed U.N. participation in the Iraqi war crimes tribunal that sentenced Hussein to die. Human rights advocates expressed concern that Ban's comments lend credibility to what they see as a flawed trial of the former Iraqi leader, and complained that he could set back efforts to abolish the death penalty.

The remarks suggest that the former South Korean foreign minister, who began a five- year term on Monday, would defer to the United Nations' 192 member states on some of the day's most controversial and unsettled issues. Nearly 70 countries, including the United States and South Korea, retain the death penalty.

"Saddam Hussein was responsible for committing heinous crimes and unspeakable atrocities against the Iraqi people," Ban said in his first news conference as secretary general. "The issue of capital punishment is for each and every member state to decide."
Unlike Kofi Annan, Ban seems to understand that a soveriegn state must handle their law and criminals in their own way, I also hold hopes that Ban will also be just as fair when it comes to a sovereign nation defending itself, because we all saw how anti-semitic Kofi Annan was during the Israel/Hizbullah war where Kofi condemned Israel for protecting and defending itself, with hardly any criticism for Hizbullah, who crossed the line, kidnapped and killed israeli soldiers and fired rockets deliberately into civilian towns, declaring war, as well as hid, cowered behind innocent Lebanese civilians to fire those rockets into Israel which Amnesty International has accused Hizbullah of war crimes.

It looks like Ban plans on doing things his way and as I stated in a previous post, there is hope that the UN, under Ban, may end up finally becoming what it was meant to be.

Good luck Mr. Ban, and congratulations on a very good start.

Previous posts on the UN can be found on one page here.