/ 31 August 2009

Ban: ‘I have my own leadership style’

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon responded to Norwegian criticism of his leadership on Monday by saying he had his own style and charisma.

Ban met Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to discuss climate change during a visit that followed the leak of a scathing memo in which Norway’s deputy UN Ambassador Mona Juul said Ban suffered from ”a lack of charisma”.

Juul accused Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, of weak, ineffective and at times counterproductive leadership, Norwegian daily Aftenposten had reported.

Norway has stressed that the letter was an internal diplomatic memo and not a statement by the government.

”We all have a different background, leadership styles. We must respect each others’,” Ban told a news conference. ”I have my own leadership style, my own charisma.”

Juul reportedly wrote that Ban was a mere ”passive observer” after Burma’s arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and that his visit there to meet the hardline generals was fruitless and could create problems for lower-level diplomats.

The secretary-general pointed to his diplomatic efforts last year, when he persuaded Burma’s Senior General Than Shwe to lift humanitarian aid restrictions after Cyclone Nargis. Ban said he was committed to work for democratisation of Burma. — Reuters