Evaluating the S-G’s performance thus far, Stephen Schlesinger looks at some of the places where Ban has accomplished quite a lot, but which haven’t received that much attention: places like Kosovo, Haiti, and Sri Lanka, where Ban’s frequent trips have all brought about at least some level of improvement in extraordinarily complex circumstances. Schlesinger sees the point that many like to make, that Ban is less charismatic than certain other S-Gs. But, he argues, Ban can be pretty hip himself.
The problem for Ban is his diffident manner, which stands in stark contrast with that of his predecessor, Kofi Annan, a larger than life secretary-general who dominated the scene through his flair, eloquence, and star power. Ban, by contrast, is neither charismatic nor an inspirational speaker – indeed, his English is not as good as Annan’s. In his own way, though, he is an engaging, polite man, hip to contemporary cultural icons, and even given to singing at public occasions with wry lyrics and verses. [emphasis mine]