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Wednesday, 27 June, 2001, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Annan wins second UN term
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Mr Annan will continue as the world's top diplomat
The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a second term for the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The re-election of the 63-year-old Ghanaian has been seen as a foregone conclusion ever since he announced in March that he would run again and no candidate opposed him.


We regard his first term as a marvellous epitome of what a secretary general should do with this organisation and how he should lead it

British Ambassador
Jeremy Greenstock
"The Security Council at a private meeting has decided to recommend Mr Kofi Annan for a second term for appointment by the General Assembly," the council's president Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh announced.

"The decision was taken by acclamation with support of all members of the council."

The formalities will be concluded on Friday when the UN's 189 members vote to confirm Mr Annan's appointment.

Popular

This has been one of the least controversial elections of a UN secretary general.

Mr Annan, 63, is a popular figure and many at the UN's headquarters in New York are keen to see him continue his work at reforming the global organisation.

UN Security Council President Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh
Mr Chowdhury: "The decision was made with support of all members of the council."
"We regard his first term as a marvellous epitome of what a secretary general should do with this organisation and how he should lead it," British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock told reporters.

The only problem with his re-appointment is that Africa, as a region, will now have held the top UN position for three straight terms, since Mr Annan's predecessor, Boutros Boutros Ghali was also an African candidate.

Normally the post is rotated to another region after two terms.

This time, it was Asia's turn, but the Asian grouping decided not to challenge Mr Annan in view of his popularity among UN member states.

Wang Yingfan, China's ambassador to the UN, said he hoped an Asian would be considered in five years, but that the council's unanimous decision showed its appreciation for Mr Annan.

Long career

Mr Annan has spent decades in the service of the United Nations.

He became the organisation's seventh secretary-general on 1 January 1997, after the US mounted an offensive against the UN and its then secretary-general, Mr Boutros Ghali, over a stifling bureaucracy and expensive peacekeeping operations.

During his first term, Mr Annan focused global attention on Africa's conflicts, poverty and the Aids epidemic.

He also trimmed bureaucracy and spearheaded an overhaul of peacekeeping operations.

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