A response from Vijay Nambiar, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff:
Jacob Heilbrunn's account of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Foreign Policy's July- August issue abounds in innuendo and patronizing commentary instead of serious analysis. Where others have seen Ban Ki-moon's commitment to "big picture" issues such as climate change and the global food crisis, Heilbrunn only sees smoke and mirrors. Where others see the soft-spoken but tough-minded Secretary General speak out forthrightly amidst the rubble in Gaza, the author sees a "nowhere man", and a "dangerous Korean".
Ban's breakthrough in getting humanitarian assistance to Myanmar after cyclone Nargis received wide acclaim as did his proactive engagement with G-20 leaders at Washington and London in voicing the plight of the "bottom billion" affected by the financial crisis. Ban's oratorical style and accent are less important than his grasp of issues and his diplomatic tenacity in seeing them through.
Certainly these would be apparent to any journalist who is not shaping his rhetoric on facile, preconceived conclusions or motivated agendas.