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Ban Ki moon set to announce plans to seek second term at the helm of the United Nations, finally

After months of discrete campaigning, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki moon will formally announce Monday that he will seek a second five-year term at the head of the world premier diplomatic organization, according to U.N. diplomats familiar with the plan. Ban will outline his plans in a breakfast Monday with representatives of the Asia Group, ...

After months of discrete campaigning, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki moon will formally announce Monday that he will seek a second five-year term at the head of the world premier diplomatic organization, according to U.N. diplomats familiar with the plan.

Ban will outline his plans in a breakfast Monday with representatives of the Asia Group, a bloc of Asian and Middle East countries, before holding a press conference to publicly announce his intention to serve out another term when his mandate expires on December 31. Ban’s team is hoping to secure support for his bid from the 15-nation U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly by June 21.

U.N. diplomats say that it’s all but certain that Ban, who faces no competition for the job, will easily be approved for a second term. During the past several months, he has traveled to key capitals, including Beijing, Moscow and Washington, to shore up backing.

Throughout much of his first term Ban has faced intense criticism from political observers, top aides, and human rights advocates, who see him as too timid to confront the world’s worst rights abusers, and too willing to accommodate the world’s major powers.

Last summer, Foreign Policy’s columnist, James Traub, counseled that "States that care about the United Nations – and above all, the United States – should prevent him from doing further harm to the institution by ensuring that he does not serve a second term."

But Ban has successfully secured support from the countries that count, the permanent five members of the council – the United States, Russia, France, China and Britain – that possess the power to block any UN chief. And Ban has received some praise in recent months for his outspoken support for pro-democracy demonstrators in the Arab world, including in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Yemen.

After his announcement, Ban plans to write to member states to inform them of his intention and seek their support. He will also make his case to other U.N regional groups.   Ban has long hinted that he would seek the U.N. top office for a second term, telling the Agence France Press just last month that "I am willing to make myself available."And he has scheduled much of his travel over the past six months to ensure visits to the capitals of key members.

Follow me on Twitter @columlynch

Colum Lynch is a senior staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @columlynch

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