When Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, the assembly president, asked members of the 192-nation world body to adopt the resolution by acclamation, hundreds of diplomats and U.N. staff in the chamber burst into loud applause. She then banged the gavel saying "it is so decided."
Ban, 62, will become the eighth U.N. secretary-general on Jan. 1 when Annan's second five-year term expires.
Ban has been South Korea's foreign minister for more than 2 1/2 years and served as national security adviser to two presidents — jobs that focused on relations with the North. He has served as a diplomat for nearly 40 years, including previous stints at the U.N. and in Washington.
The South Korean will be the eighth secretary-general in the United Nations' 60-year history, overseeing an organization with some 92,000 peacekeepers around the world and a $2 billion annual operating budget. Fighting hunger, assisting refugees and slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS are all programs that fall under the secretary-general's purview.