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SUPERPOWERS
Ban 'willing' to work on as UN leader

by Staff Writers
United Nations (AFP) May 18, 2011
Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday gave his strongest indication yet that he will stand for a second term as secretary general of the United Nations, in an interview with AFP.

"My basic position is that if member states want that my services are useful and necessary then I am willing to make myself available," he said when asked about his future.

But Ban said that for the moment he is concentrating on the UN response to conflict in Libya and uprisings in Syria and other Arab nations.

With speculation mounting for weeks that the former South Korean foreign minister is about to announce his candidacy, Ban said: "This year the world has experienced multiple crises" in the Arab world and North Africa and with the Japan tsunami disaster.

"I have not been able to find time to think about that (reelection), I am too busy doing my job as secretary general to think about all these issues.

"When the appropriate time comes I will be able to express my views about my future," he said.

Ban was elected for a first term in October 2006 and normally the succession should be decided by the time world leaders meet at the UN General Assembly in New York in September. But when his predecessor, Kofi Annan, reached the end of his first term in 2001 a vote was held in June that year.



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SUPERPOWERS
China never intends to challenge US: top general
Washington (AFP) May 18, 2011
China "never intends to challenge the US" and welcomes its role maintaining peace in the Asia-Pacific region, People's Liberation Army Chief of General Staff Chen Bingde told US military officers Wednesday. While the Chinese military has improved considerably in the past years, there is still a large gap between them and US military might, Chen told officers at the National Defense Universit ... read more







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