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On UN Secretary-General Election
name : KGEU date : 2006/10/09 file : 0 K download : 0

Missing Human Rights Principle on the election of the UN Secretary General

This statement has been made on behalf of Sarangbang Group for Human Rights. Sarangnbang is an independent human rights organization of ROK(Republic of Korea).

People say that the Korean diplomat , Ban Ki-Moon, has been risen a candidate with the best election hope as the next UN Secretary-General. We also know well that the ROK government has made every endeavor to win his seat. The popular view and mass medias of the ROK are excited with a sort of self-pride and patriotism, so his election will be described as victory of ROK diplomacy and foreign policy. However the Secretary-General's role is not for a country's pride, as we know.

We consider that the general aims of UN should be human rights, justice and peace in the world. Although the reality is different from the ideal, the Secretary-General plays important roles in pursuing the aims of UN. The Charter describes the Secretary-General as "chief administrative officer" of the Organization, who shall act in that capacity and perform "such other functions as are entrusted" to him or her by the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and other United Nations organs. The Charter also empowers the Secretary-General to "bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security". So far the UN Secretary-General has been required to make a diversion to powerful countries as a balance of power. As an example, Mr. Kofi A. Annan stated that US's attack to Iraq was that "Attack without the support of UN is illegal".

We deeply concern about the attitudes and practices of the ROK government in the area of international human rights. It is well known fact that the ROK has dispatched troops to Iraq and the troops[Zaitun] are still stationed there. This conduct is against the aims of UN and anti-war sentiment in the world. We consider the attack in Iraq is a war criminal which didn't have any authority of UN resolution, but also disregarded the UN Charter. Traditionally the ROK government has showed pro-US attitude and the minister Ban has done leading role in that policy as a chief diplomat.

We have many proved lists. On 21 SEP 2006, at the UN assembly speech, the minister Ban addressed "Human rights is not an option, but a sacred obligation of international society. It's not valuable peace and development without human rights." However, on the very next day, ROK Government shut down the offices of the Korean Government employees' union. Such an action was opposed to ILO's recommendation which must guarantee the Government employees' labor rights.

The US and the ROK government have agreed to add new 1,154 ha to the existing 1,513 ha for US military base in Pyeongtaek[a city near the capital of ROK] under the name of 'Strategic Flexibility'. It should be noted that US Military Base in Pyeongtaek will play a major role in attack and containment against the People's Republic of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea following to the MD(Missile Defense) project of US Military, which will destroy peace sustained with difficulty around the Korean peninsula. We believe Korean people should be able to control peace in Korean peninsula, not the US Military, as we call 'right to peace' following to the UN resolution 39/11. Moreover ROK government is willing to evict farmers from their own land on Pyeongtaek. Lots of farmers faced to a crisis situation to be evicted are still remained and cultivating their own land. However, in last September, ROK govenment already destroyed their neighbors' houses which were left in empty. In addition, Korea-US FTA should be understood in this context. We have warned Korea-US FTA will collapse the ROK domestic economy and industry, also Korean people's lives. There is no doubt that globalization following to the Korea-US FTA would be a big disaster to Korean people. We oppose Korea-US FTA because it would totally ruin people's right to subsistence.

In this context, we resent that the ROK government disregards its acts and proceeds with unchanged policy for the UN Secretary-General. We wish to keep solidarity for the UN human rights machinery, which however is all too often forgotten or disregarded in the real states' policy. So we don't consider that the minister Ban who is the minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of ROK now is appropriate for the UN Secretary-General.

Human rights that don't review their own problems have nothing but to get bogged down in "arrogance" and "supremacy". The South Korean Government which ignores even domestic implementation of international human rights standards, should have a self-reflective attitude before have an ambition for the next UN Secretary General.


SARANGBANG Group for Human Rights

1. Greetings with solidarity. Sarangnbang is an independent human rights NGO of ROK(Republic of Korea).

2. Sarangbang has announced some statements about the selection of the UN Secretary-General. It's one of the important reason that Ban, Ki-Moon we have watched as the minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of ROK is the best election hope for the UN Secretary-General.

3. We believe UN is still trying to persue its own ideal, human rights and peace in the world. For it, the UN Secretary-General should play an important role fairly with justice. So the UN Secretary-General has been required to make a diversion to powerful countries as a balance of power. But as we know, ROK government has been familliar with pro-US diplomatic policy, the US which is the most powerful country in the world.

4. We believe UN still has its own main object in the world. In a conclusion, we don't consider the minister Ban is appropriate for the UN Seretary-General.


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