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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 15:43 GMT
New UN chief not to ignore Africa
Ban Ki-moon listens to greetings after his election as secretary-general
Ban Ki-moon will lead the UN from January for five years
South Korean UN Secretary General-elect Ban Ki-Moon has promised to keep Africa high on the agenda when he succeeds Ghanaian Kofi Annan in January.

He told the BBC he would not allow issues like North Korea's nuclear weapons programme to divert attention from Africa's pressing needs.

Mr Ban said he was planning to emphasise the implementation of Millennium Development Goals.

"Without development you can't expect peace, security and human rights."

Speaking in Seoul, he admitted he had only visited Africa during the past year whilst campaigning for the United Nations top job.

But he told the BBC's Network Africa programme that two-thirds of items discussed at the UN Security Council are about Africa and despite his relative lack of expertise of the continent he would be working hard with African leaders.

Questioned about the UN's policy on the conflicts in Sudan's western Darfur region and Somalia, Mr Ban said he wanted to focus on resolving these tensions and hoped to meet Sudan's leader as soon as possible.

Mr Ban, seen as mild mannered and a good mediator, has played key roles in dealing with the crisis over North Korea's nuclear programme both as South Korea's foreign minister and as its ambassador to the UN.

Mr Annan has congratulated his successor as "a man with a truly global mind" and "exceptional qualifications".


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