Norway's envoy to the United Nations has criticized Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as being conspicuously absent in taking action on major global issues and crises. This comes on the heels of similar criticism from pundits as Ban reaches the third year of a five-year term.

"At a time when the need for the United Nations and for multilateral solutions to global crises is greater than ever, Ban and the United Nations are conspicuous in their absence," Mona Juul said.

Her comments were cited in a confidential memo released to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, excerpts of which were reprinted in Der Spiegel International.

Although the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on Juul's remarks, it did refer to previous statements made by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere. He described Ban as "hardworking" and "attentive," according to Reuters.

With an overall aid budget of $4 billion, Norway is a major donor to multilateral institutions like the United Nations.

Juul noted how Ban supposedly mishandled a humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka and negotiations with Myanmar's military government. These, she said, are signs of his failings as U.N. chief. She also cited his lack of leadership on environmental and global financial crisis issues, according to reports.

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    Oliver Subasinghe

    Oliver joined Devex in late 2008 as an international development correspondent and researcher. He previously served as a microfinance fellow for Kiva in Kenya and Uganda. During his tenure, he worked with Kiva’s field partners to improve their operations and governance. Oliver holds a master's in business from the College of William & Mary.