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14 Dec, 2006 14:39

New UN Secretary-General sworn in on Thursday

New UN Secretary-General sworn in on Thursday

The United Nations' General Assembly has sworn in Ban Ki Moon as its eighth Secretary-General. The former South Korean Foreign Minister took the oath of office in a ceremony that has also honoured outgoing Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The United Nations is looking to Ban for a new kind of diplomacy for the international body. The 62-year-old distinguished diplomat was unanimously elected in October, and will become the first Asian to lead the organization in more than three decades. He'll begin his five-year stint on January first, facing issues such as nuclear proliferation, terrorism and reform of UN management.

Mr Ban has pledged his term will be about leadership and committment todecisions. In his oath on Thursday the new Secretary-General sweore to exercise his duties “in all loyalty, discretion and conscience.”

Ban Ki Moon claims the office at a difficult time both for the world and for the UN itself. He will have to use his diplomatic skills to restore the withering credibility of the organization by reforming the UN Security Council, at the same time dealing with the increasingly disturbing situation in the Middle East.

Mr Ban’s experience in the 6-party negotiations on North Korea and what he himself calls his ‘inner strength’ might be just what he needs to face these challenges.