TOKYO, May 18, 2006 (AFP) – UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Thursday that most nations believe his successor should come from Asia, as campaigning for his replacement intensifies.

"I can say that most of the member states believe that it is a turn for Asia," Annan told a news conference in Tokyo.

"It is a practice that we have rotated it over the years from one region to the other," the Ghanaian said.

The United States, however, has resisted the regional power-sharing arrangement, saying it would support the best candidate regardless of his or her region.

Several Asian countries are putting forward successors to Annan, whose second five-year term expires at the end of the year. The world’s largest region has not had a UN chief since U Thant of Burma (now Myanmar) finished his second term in 1971.

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon, whom Annan met earlier this week on his regional tour, has announced his candidacy.

Other Asians who have expressed interest include Thai Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Sri Lanka’s Jayantha Dhanapala, an adviser to President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Japan has not put forward a candidate and Annan said Asia’s largest economy would have slim chances if it did.

But "countries that are very powerful should not seek to get additional power by seeking positions of that kind, traditionally," he said. – Island

Advertisements