Yangon, Myanmar – Officials say the U.N. secretary-general has arrived in Myanmar for a two-day mission aimed at winning the release of jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Ban Ki-moon’s arrival in Myanmar today comes the same day that Suu Kyi’s widely criticized trial resumes.
Ban was due to meet later in the day with the head of Myanmar’s military junta, Senior Gen. Than Shwe.
Ban told reporters before his arrival that he would lobby the junta chief directly for Suu Kyi’s release.
Japanese envoy to lead IAEA
Vienna, Austria – After a months-long deadlock and half a dozen inconclusive votes, the world’s atomic energy watchdog on Thursday elected as its leader a Japanese diplomat described as colorless by foes and competent by allies.
Yukiya Amano, formerly Japan’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, will serve as director-general of the United Nations agency when Mohamed ElBaradei, a controversial and outspoken Egyptian diplomat, retires from the post this year.
Amano’s rivalry with a South African candidate, Abdul Samad Minty, emerged as a competition between the West, which wants the agency to focus on preventing nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of countries such as Iran and Syria, and developing countries more concerned with disarming nuclear powers and spreading atomic energy to poorer nations.