[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] Monday nominated Ban Ki-Moon [official profile], the current South Korean Foreign Minister, to succeed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile] when Annan's term ends in January. Ban won the Council's nomination after four straw polls in the Security Council definitively favored him over six other contenders from Asian countries. South Korea nominated Ban as a candidate [JURIST report] in February. The UN Charter [text] requires the General Assembly to elect the secretary-general [official website] after receiving a recommendation from the Security Council, and the Assembly will likely schedule a confirmation vote later this month.
Although Annan praised Ban and expressed support for his nomination [statement text], the announcement was overshadowed by an emergency session [JURIST report] of the Security Council called to discuss North Korea's defiant nuclear weapon tests. Ban told reporters that he plans to act as an impartial mediator and that he is prepared to travel to North Korea to facilitate discussions about ending its nuclear program. AFP has more. The UN News Service has additional coverage.