New York, June 18, 2011 (SPS) - The Security Council unanimously recommended on Friday that Ban Ki-moon be re-elected as U.N. secretary-general, virtually assuring the South Korean diplomat of five more years in the top U.N. job.
The 192-nation General Assembly is planning to meet on Tuesday to formally reappoint Ban, 67, to a second term of office beginning on January 1, diplomats said.
The council decision, originally planned for Thursday, was delayed for one day because one of the U.N. regional groups -- Latin America and the Caribbean -- had not agreed to endorse Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister.
Diplomats said the group had still not achieved consensus by Friday morning, but the council went ahead with its recommendation. Endorsement by regional groups is considered desirable but is not technically necessary.
"The Security Council ... recommends to the General Assembly that Mr. Ban Ki-moon be appointed secretary-general of the United Nations for a second term," said a resolution adopted without a vote by the 15-nation council.
Ban's re-election is a virtual certainty after the Security Council recommendation, which followed agreement by its five permanent members that they wanted him to continue in office. No other candidates have been put forward.
In a statement in Brazil, where he was on a visit on Friday, Ban said he was "deeply honored" by the council's vote. "I am proud of all we have done together, even as I am aware of formidable challenges ahead," he said.
At a news conference in Brasilia, Ban pledged, if confirmed for a second term, to broadly continue an agenda of sustainable development, climate change, women's empowerment, nuclear disarmament and strengthening U.N. humanitarian aid capacity.