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Ban Ki-moon defends himself

world Updated: Aug 10, 2010 23:45 IST
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mounted a highly emotional defense of his embattled tenure on Monday, telling reporters at a news conference that allegations that he sought to undercut the independence of the United Nations’ main anti-corruption agency were "unfair."

Just weeks ago, Ban came under attack from his outgoing oversight chief, Inga-Britt Ahlenius, who said that Ban, among other things, had undermined her authority to make her own selection for the top investigations job.

At the time, Ban argued that Ahlenius had the power to propose a shortlist of three candidates, including one woman, but that he had the power to select the winner from the list.

"I have given 100 per cent independence" to the United Nations' internal oversight body, Ban said. "I'm a very reasonable, very practical man of common sense. I do not take extreme, unreasonable policies. I always do the right things, proper things."

"If anybody or if any member states with the UN system, or any colleague of mine within the UN Secretariat, accuses me on the issue of accountability or ethics, then that's something I regard as unfair," he said.

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