Iceland’s government will request explanation from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his comments in Austrian magazine Profil where he said he hoped Austria would be elected to the UN Security Council, which Iceland is also lobbying for.
According to Fréttabladid, Ban’s comment can be interpreted such that he has declared his support for Austria, and against Iceland and Turkey. The three countries are competing for two available seats on the council and elections are scheduled for October.
“If the secretary general is quoted correctly this is an issue that not only concerns Iceland but also all other member states,” said Kristín A. Árnadóttir, director of Iceland’s campaign. “Members states must demand from the secretary general that he is objective and avoids declaring support for some member states at the price of others.”
Hans Winkler, manager of Austria’s Foreign Ministry, said Ban has personal connections with the country since he once served as South Korea’s ambassador to Austria and that he had expressed his personal opinion in the interview but not as the UN Secretary General.
Click here to read an interview with Kristín A. Árnadóttir about Iceland’s candidacy for the UN Security Council.