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U.N. Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs to Stay Put, For Now

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Colum Lynch of Foreign Policy magazine reports that China's most senior UN official, Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang, will likely serve out the remaining year of his term.

Why was this in question to begin with?

Well, it seems that Sha had one of "those" nights we've all had--and regretted heavily the next morning--at a UN retreat in the Alps last week.

After a few drinks, a wobbly Sha took to the dais to offer Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a toast which "degenerated into an intoxicated rant against the United Nations, the United States, and [Moon]."

Sha began by informing the group that the "wine affected me a little...I want to say something that's on my mind."

"I know you never liked me Mr. Secretary-General -- well, I never liked you, either," he continued. "You've been trying to get rid of me. You can fire me anytime, you can fire me today." According to sources at the event, UN officials then approached Sha in an attempt to "coax him into putting down the microphone," which "didn't work."

Lynch notes that, "At one stage, Sha singled out a senior U.N. official, Bob Orr of the United States, and said 'I really don't like him: he's an American and I really don't like Americans.'

Sha then seemed to be making an attempt to at least partially turn the ship around by praising a speech Orr gave at a past conference. However, it soon became clear that the compliment was of the left-handed sort, as Sha pointed out that Orr had praised him during his remarks and that "He was right."

"It was a tribute gone awry," said one attendee. "It went on for about ten or fifteen minutes but it felt like an hour."

In an update, Lynch quotes a UN insider as saying there are a number of factors which would make it difficult to remove Sha at this point.

"We've put up with him for three years; we can put up with him for another one," the source said.
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