Korea’s Ki-Moon set for top UN post

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon is set to be the next UN secretary general. The United Nations is preparing to herald in a new era with the appointment of a successor to Kofi Annan.

Ban Ki-Moon, 62, won support from all permanent Security Council members and looks certain to become the first Asian leader in the 35 years since Burma’s U Thant took the post. Shashi Tharoor was Ban's closest rival for the role. He withdrew from the race immediately, effectively leaving the path clear. Ban secured crucial backing of the United States, one of the UN's fiercest critics in recent times. Ban's political career spans almost four decades, having joined South Korea's foreign ministry on leaving university in 1970. He played a key role in negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear programme, making him a popular choice. An official vote is expected on Monday, ahead of a recommendation to the General Assembly. Ban is expected to take over from Kofi Annan by the year end.