New Secretary-General Ban: I like the reform rhetoric, at least (and then there's the French...)
If you listened to my most recent podcast, you've probably noted that I'm neither a Kofi Annan fan nor a UN fan. Whether I'll be a Secretary-General Ban fan (couldn't resist the rhyme) remains to be seen, but at least in his initial UN address he paid rhetorical lip service to the fact that corruption is rampant there and reform is sorely needed. We'll see whether there's any way for that to actually happen.
But Ban apparently has flunked his first French test, which was--a French test. Yes, you heard me right; apparently France requires all Secretaries-General to speak French. Although Ban has been burning the midnight oil and brushing up his skills in honor of the big day. he flubbed some questions at a recent French news conference.
Chirac might hold it against him. But I promise I won't.