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UN official's tribute to UN chief backfires

UN official's tribute to UN chief backfires

The United Nations' top Chinese official meant to pay tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a retreat for senior U.N. staff last weekend, but U.N. officials said Thursday he had been drinking and the tribute turned into a rant against U.N. chief, the U.N. and the United States.
Sha Zukang, the U.N. undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, was "deeply apologetic" when he went to see the secretary-general the following morning, U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.
"He said that he had risen to speak the previous evening because he felt that recent criticisms of the secretary-general had been unfair and that he wanted to set the record straight," Haq said.
But Sha told Ban he realized the way he spoke, "coming as it did after he had had a few drinks, was inappropriate, as it went too far," Haq said. "He was also aware that his statements had embarrassed and irritated other senior advisors."
Foreign Affairs magazine's Turtle Bay Blog, which broke the story, quoted Sha as saying, according to an unnamed senior official: "I know you never liked me Mr. Secretary General _ well, I never liked you, either. I didn't want to come to New York. It was the last thing I wanted to do. But I've come to love the U.N. and I'm coming to admire some things about you."
A message left with Sha's office after hours was not immediately returned.


Updated : 2021-07-31 05:41 GMT+08:00