Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, has claimed that he welcomed criticism during a response to an internal memo leaked to the press last week.
The memo, originating from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, was scathing in its criticism of Mr. Ban, with little good to say about the Korean.
However, the Secretary–General claimed that constructive criticism helped him in his work. Ban Ki-moon informed reporters that he was telephoned by the Foreign Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Store, who advised that he regretted the leaking of the report which was written by the Deputy Ambassador to the U.N, Mona Juul. Mr. Ban confirmed that it was standard practise for U.N diplomats to report back to their own governments.
“As a matter of principle I welcome all these criticisms,” he said. “Criticisms, when they are constructive, help me improve my work, my performance.”
In the report, Juul claimed Ban was ineffective, displayed a ‘lack of charisma’ and that his leadership was counterproductive. The report went on to be published by Aftenposten, the Norwegian Daily, though it was meant to be restricted to ministry viewing only.
Juul was not alone in her views, with several media organisations being openly critical of his work. “You have the right to say what you believe and what you have seen in my job as the secretary-general. So I would welcome any such good suggestions and constructive criticisms,” he told assembled journalists.
The U.N chief is due in Norway this week and despite the furore has claimed he is looking forward to meeting with the nation’s leaders.