Archive for the ‘Vote buying’ Category

American Right attacks Ban as corrupt

October 2, 2006

If Ban is selected, we can expect to hear more attacks like this over the next 5 years.

One pundit, Alykhan Velshi calls Ban “a crook”. Velshi works at the same think tank as Claudia Rosset, a reporter who has attacked the UN over the Oil for Food “scandal”.

Another says that Ban will be more “general than secretary” and claims that Ban will put little work in to address corruption.

Regardless of the merits of the allegations against Ban, the allegations themselves will create a ready excuse for US conservatives to attack the UN.

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Ban’s trips and aid: A summary

September 29, 2006

The following posts describe BanKi-moon’s travel and aid as we have covered them:

Other people have reported:

  • A maritime agreement with Greece.
  • A piano for Peru.

We have heard of others but have no documentation. We do not want to make suggestions about the integrity of heads of state without at least documentary evidence.

Times of London reports on Ban’s vote buying

September 29, 2006

Update: The Indian press has picked up on this too and going into their typical feeding frenzy.

We have said that this is an extremely important issue and deserves a higher level of scrutiny. Now a mainstream newspaper has documented the charges. The basic framing is:

Mr Ban announced his bid in February and has since been criss-crossing the globe trying to win support. A month later South Korea announced that it would treble its aid budget to Africa to $100 million (£53 million) by 2008. Seoul then contributed tens of thousands of pounds to sponsor this year’s African Union summit in the Gambia in July, when Mr Ban declared 2006 to be “the Year of Africa” for South Korea.

Then the article discusses Tanzania. This is one of the clearest cases that we have discussed:

One fortunate recipient was Tanzania, which currently has a seat on the Security Council. When Mr Ban arrived in May he pledged $18 million for an educational programme and also promised to carry out a road and bridge project in western Tanzania. Between 1991 and 2003 South Korean grants to Tanzania totalled $4.7 million. Seoul’s generosity seems to have worked. Yesterday Elly Matango, the Tanzanian Ambassador to Tokyo and Seoul, said that his Government had decided to support Mr Ban

Next stop Greece:

This month President Roh and Mr Ban headed the most senior South Korean delegation since 1961 to visit Greece, another Security Council member. Overseen by hundreds of South Korean businessmen, the countries signed agreements on trade, tourism and maritime transport.

It is about time that the media gives this race proper scrutiny. We believe that more examples are out there and need to be properly discussed and identified. In many countries, this kind of behavior would disqualify a candidate for public office and open them to criminal prosecution. We have trouble seeing how a candidate that acts like this has any credibility leading the UN.

This is important because it provides the US and UK a reason to veto Ban while also undermining the credibility of the UN. Conservatives in the US especially will use this as another reason to distrust the UN.

South Korea to increase development assistance

September 25, 2006

The government of South Korea has announced that it will increase its foreign aid, according to AsiaNews:

Korea spent 0.06 per cent of its Gross National Income (GNI) in development assistance in 2004, which some say is too small for the size of its economy, the 12th largest in the world.

Although South Korea’s spending in development assistance rose to 0.09 percent of GNI last year, it is still far from the United Nations recommendation of 0.7 per cent of the economy.

After Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon announced his run for the UN secretary-general’s position, it was pointed out that Korea should raise its development spending to improve its voice in the global community.

So a country has advanced their foreign minister to be UNSG and yet they barely participate in one of the most important parts of the UN agenda, development. And then the year before running for UNSG, they increase their aid by about 50%.

Now in March, South Korea announced that they were increasing aid to Africa by $100m:

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun announced during his trip to Nigeria in March that his country will triple its Official Development Assistance budget for Africa to approximately US$100 million by 2008.

So what countries will receive this money? We know some. $18m was promised to Tanzania, a UNSC member. We know that more was promised to Ghana, another UNSC member. We have heard that substantial aid has been offered to other countries, but we have not been able to document this.

Note that this is not unheard of. A recent study out of Harvard University found that, “on average, a non-permanent member of the council enjoys a 59- per-cent increase in total aid from the United States and an 8-per- cent increase in total development aid from the United Nations.”

It would be interesting to know the country-by-country breakdown of recent increases in South Korean development assistance.

Ban Ki-moon travels to Africa

June 15, 2006

The Korea Times reports that Ban Ki-moon will continue his campaigning in Africa later in the month. This will make his second trip in under two months. Details:

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon will leave for Gambia later this month to hold talks with African leaders, the ministry said Thursday.

Ban is scheduled to attend a special ministerial meeting of the 53-nation African Union on June 30-31 in Banjul, Gambia.

This follows a trip to Seoul by the Foreign Minister of Congo-Brazzaville, the AU President and a Security Council member, last week. We wonder what great new aid proposal he will offer to the Africans.

Ban campaigns on reform and passes out (more!) cash

June 5, 2006

Today’s Korea Times has two important articles today:

First, the Foreign Minister of Ghana came to Seoul and got a promise of a check:

President Roh Moo-hyun said Monday South Korea is going to expand its grant and credit assistance to Ghana so the two countries could further promote cooperative ties, according to Chong Wa Dae.

Roh hoped Ghana could share the South Korean experience of rapid economic growth through various exchange programs of government officials as well as the expanded aid, Jung said in a press release.

Of course, Ghana is a Security Council member. We have reported before here, here, and here on Ban’s campaign trips. By our estimates, Ban has promised $48 million in foreign aid to Uzbekistan ($30 million), Tanzania ($18 million), and promises for other exchanges with other countries. This is the second promise of foreign aid to an African Security Council member.

Ban is also holding a seminar on UN reform in Seoul:

The United Nations Association in South Korea will host an international seminar at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul on June 8-9 on the challenges the global organization is facing in the 21st century.

Foreign participants include Pera Wells of Australia, acting secretary-general of the World Federation of United Nations Associations; Jin Yongjian, president of the United Nations Association in China; and Mark Minton, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in South Korea.

Does anyone else think it’s a strange juxtaposition to pass out money for votes and then campaign on reform? We will have an analysis of Ban’s CFR speech on reform later today. Presumably this wasn’t what Suzzane Nossel meant by “moral authority“?

Ban passing out more cash

June 1, 2006

Ban Ki-moon has continued to pass out money. He was in Tanzania, a Security Council member, last week and offered US$18m for ICT, according to Tanzania News:

Delivering his speech at the University Dar es Salaam at the weekend, the visiting Korean Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ban Ki-moon, said his country has earmarked a total of US Dollars 18 million for supporting development of ICT at the UDSM College of Engineering and Technology and vocational training institutions.

This appears to be Ban’s modus operandi. He flies in, offers foreign aid, and gets collects support. This is what he did in Uzbekistan also. offered a similar proposal to Uzbekistan which subsequently offered its endorsement. And he offered nuclear technology to Indonesia.