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Ban Ki-moon MPA

Self Description

January 2007: "Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, brings to his post 37 years of service both in government and on the global stage.

Career highlights

At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban was his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His long tenure with the ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C. and Vienna, and responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Advisor to the President, Chief National Security Advisor to the President, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General of American Affairs. Throughout this service, his guiding vision was that of a peaceful Korean peninsula, playing an expanding role for peace and prosperity in the region and the wider world.

Mr. Ban has longstanding ties with the United Nations, dating back to 1975, when he worked for the Foreign Ministry’s United Nations division. That work expanded over the years, with assignments as First Secretary at the ROK’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, Director of the UN Division at the ministry’s headquarters in Seoul, and Ambassador to Vienna, during which time, in 1999, he served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. In 2001-2002, as Chef-de-Cabinet during the ROK’s Presidency of the General Assembly, he facilitated the prompt adoption of the first resolution of the session, condemning the terrorist attacks of 11 September, and undertook a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Assembly’s functioning, thereby helping to turn a session that started out in crisis and confusion into one in which a number of important reforms were adopted.

Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations. In 1992, as Special Advisor to the Foreign Minister, he served as Vice Chair of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission following the adoption of the historic Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In September 2005, as Foreign Minister, he played a leading role in bringing about another landmark agreement aimed at promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula with the adoption at the Six Party Talks of the Joint Statement on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.


Mr. Ban received a bachelor's degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. In1985, he earned a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Prizes and awards

Mr. Ban has received numerous national and international prizes, medals and honours. In 1975, 1986 and again in 2006, he was awarded the ROK’s Highest Order of Service Merit for service to his country.


Mr. Ban was born on 13 June 1944. He and his wife, Madam Yoo (Ban) Soon-taek, whom he met in high school in 1962, have one son and two daughters. In addition to Korean, Mr. Ban speaks English and French."

Third-Party Descriptions

September 2011: "The announcement by Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu appears to rebuff UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon's attempt to defuse the row over Israel's armed assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in which nine people were killed."

May 2010: "UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has refused to comply with numerous orders from a new U.N. personnel tribunal to hand over confidential documents and other sensitive information needed to resolve legal claims by U.N. employees of unfair treatment, according to court documents."

July 2008: 'U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon raised concerns about possible Sudanese government involvement in a telephone conversation with Bashir last weekend, according to Mohamad, the Sudanese U.N. envoy. But Mohamad blamed the rebels for the attack. "The national army doesn't have the equipment" used in the attack, he said. "It's very sophisticated."'

July 2008: "Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, called Mr. Bashir on Saturday to express concern about the safety of United Nations personnel in Sudan and to stress that the work of the court was independent from the rest of the United Nations, his office said in a statement."

June 2008: "Next month, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to brief the Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. In that report, it is likely that he will announce a revised or clarified stand on the sovereignty of Shabaa."

May 2008: 'The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said he believed that short-term help [to Myanmar--Ed.] was a priority, with hundreds of thousands left homeless and aid reaching only a fraction of those who needed it. “The needs remain acute,” Mr. Ban said Sunday, “from clean water and sanitation to shelter, medical supplies and food.”'

May 2008: "The Chinese government has enjoyed broad public support for its handling of the earthquake, and in Sichuan on Saturday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations praised the government’s response."

May 2008: 'BANGKOK — Myanmar’s military junta promised Friday to allow into the country “all aid workers” of any nationality, after three weeks of blocking most assistance to cyclone victims, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, announced.'

May 2008: "U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week convened a task force of multilateral agencies to try to stitch the safety net back together. It intends to present a plan of action aimed at lowering trade barriers, boosting agricultural production and extending a lifeline to the poorest at a summit of world leaders June 3-5 at FAO headquarters in Rome."

September 2007: ....As a teenager, Ban traveled to the United States in the early 1960s, where he met with President John F. Kennedy. Decades later, as a top South Korean official, Ban struggled to preserve his country's military alliance with the United States and persuaded his government to send thousands of Korean troops to Iraq.

September 2007: This mutually beneficial relationship has made Ban one of the most pro-American secretaries general in the United Nations' 62-year history, in the eyes of many observers. Such close ties to Washington have triggered some unease; many U.N. member states opposed the war in Iraq and resent U.S. influence.

September 2007: “There should be no safe haven for those who steal from the poor,” Robert B. Zoellick, the bank’s president, said in presenting the plan with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Student/Trainee (past or present) Kennedy School of Government, The John F. (KSG) Organization Jan 29, 2007
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) United Nations, The (UN) Organization Jan 29, 2007
Successor to Kofi A. Annan Person Jan 29, 2007
Advised by (past or present) Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs Person Apr 21, 2008

Articles and Resources

29 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 9]

Date Resource Read it at:
Sep 03, 2011 Turkey to challenge Gaza blockade at International Court of Justice: Turkish announcement appears to rebuff attempts by UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon to end its row with Israel

QUOTE: Turkey is to challenge Israel's blockade on Gaza at the International Court of Justice....Ban said today that the two countries should accept the recommendations of a UN report that... Israel had used "excessive and unreasonable" force to stop the flotilla approaching Gaza, but that it was justified in maintaining a naval blockade on the Palestinian enclave.

Guardian Unlimited
Apr 25, 2011 Syria Escalates Crackdown as Tanks Go to Restive City

QUOTE: “The government has decided to choose the path of violence and repression…” Tanks had not previously been used against protesters, and the force of the assault suggested that the military planned some sort of occupation of the town.

New York Times
May 13, 2010 U.N. head Ban Ki-Moon refusing orders from internal personnel court

QUOTE: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has refused to comply with numerous orders from a new U.N. personnel tribunal to hand over confidential documents and other sensitive information needed to resolve legal claims by U.N. employees of unfair treatment...

Washington Post
Oct 28, 2009 At U.N., contractor's case again raises questions about nepotism: Internal investigation will examine whether official abused authority

QUOTE: There are no hard figures on nepotism and favoritism at the United Nations, but the ranks of the U.N. Secretariat and U.N. agencies include scores of children and grandchildren of the organization's luminaries and foreign diplomats.

Washington Post
Oct 19, 2009 How the Afghan Election Was Rigged

QUOTE: No one will ever know how Afghans voted in their country's presidential elections on Aug. 20, 2009. Seven weeks after the polling, the U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) is still trying to separate fraudulent tallies from ballots.

Time Magazine
Aug 13, 2009 Unleashing the laws of war: The Geneva conventions at 60

QUOTE: some inevitably question whether the Geneva conventions and their later protocols are really suited to today’s conflicts.

Aug 11, 2009 Pro-Democracy Leader in Myanmar Is Convicted

QUOTE: A court in Myanmar sentenced the pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months of additional house arrest Tuesday, drawing widespread condemnation from around the world.

New York Times
Jun 11, 2009 U.N. Seeks U.S. Probe of Alleged Misuse of Afghan Aid

QUOTE: ...Gary K. Helseth, an American who managed more than $1 billion in international reconstruction funds [from the U.N.], used some of the money to finance a lavish lifestyle....highlights a breakdown of the United Nations' financial controls

Washington Post
Nov 28, 2008 Legal Hurdles in West Slow Pursuit of Pirates

QUOTE: bureaucratic and legal hurdles facing international institutions and national governments have so far defeated most efforts to deal with the nimble crews of pirates in speedboats....But some legal experts in Germany said that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and an existing United Nations mandate to combat Somali piracy already provided all the legal cover necessary for muscular action against the pirates.

New York Times
Jul 20, 2008 Indictment of Sudanese Leader Seen as Threat to Peacekeepers

QUOTE: Some U.N. officials suspect the operation was intended to serve as a warning to U.N. peacekeepers and humanitarian workers of Sudan's intent to use deadly force if the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court targeted the country's leader.

Washington Post
Jul 13, 2008 Sudanese Protest War Crimes Case Against President at Scripted Rally in Capital

QUOTE: Thousands of people took to the streets of Sudan’s tense capital on Sunday in a carefully choreographed protest against the expected request by the International Criminal Court to arrest President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on war crimes charges. Students and members of the ruling National Congress Party were bused to the center of the capital, Khartoum, where they waved banners denouncing the international court and the United Nations.

New York Times
Jun 29, 2008 U.S. Backs U.N. Official in Darfur Indicted in Rwanda Deaths

QUOTE: The State Department has urged the United Nations to retain a Rwandan general as the second-highest-ranking U.N. peacekeeper in the Darfur region of Sudan, even though he has been indicted for allegedly committing war crimes in Rwanda during the mid-1990s, according to U.S. and U.N. officials.

Washington Post
Jun 21, 2008 Frustrated Burmese Organize Aid Forays: Ad Hoc Groups Formed In Cyclone's Aftermath, But Causes May Widen

QUOTE: Defying roadblocks and bureaucratic obstruction, volunteers have reached devastated villages in many parts of the Irrawaddy Delta, dropping off food, drinking water and other essentials and bringing back photos that contradict claims in the state media that life is returning to normal.

Washington Post
Jun 19, 2008 Israel Open to Deal With Lebanon on Disputed Land

QUOTE: Israel offered on Wednesday to start direct peace talks with Lebanon, saying all issues would be negotiable including a tiny piece of Israeli-held land on the countries’ border that Israel has long argued does not belong to Lebanon but that the Lebanese say is theirs....However, in the past the Lebanese government has consistently opposed negotiations with Israel, saying the Israelis must first return the disputed piece of land.

New York Times
Jun 03, 2008 Myanmar Rulers Still Impeding Access

QUOTE: One month after a powerful cyclone struck Myanmar and 10 days after the ruling junta’s leader promised full access to the hardest-hit areas, relief agencies said Monday that they were still having difficulty reaching hundreds of thousands of survivors in urgent need of assistance.

New York Times
May 27, 2008 Progress for Aid Workers in Myanmar

QUOTE: While opening its door to international donors, the military government has refused permission to United States, French and British warships loaded with supplies just outside its territorial waters. In denying entry, the government has said it fears that any such aid from Western powers would have “strings attached.” However, it has allowed more than 60 United States Air Force flights to bring supplies to the Yangon airport.

New York Times
May 27, 2008 Burma Extends House Arrest of Nobel Prize Winner

QUOTE: The government's decision to confine her to her dilapidated lakeside bungalow for another year was widely predicted. It was conveyed to her by officials during a 10-minute visit to her home. Earlier, 30 of her supporters tried to march from the NLD headquarters to her home, but their protest was quickly broken up, with about 16 people arrested.

Washington Post
May 26, 2008 Myanmar’s Survivors Still Waiting for Food

QUOTE: The government, which insists that the emergency phase of the disaster is over, showed a video suggesting the country had enough rice, and that what it needed instead was billions of dollars for long-term reconstruction. Some analysts fear that the focus on rebuilding is a ploy.

New York Times
May 26, 2008 Atomic Monitor Signals Concern Over Iran’s Work

QUOTE: The nine-page report accused the Iranians of a willful lack of cooperation, particularly in answering allegations that its nuclear program may be intended more for military use than for energy generation.

New York Times
May 25, 2008 Grief in the Rubble: Chinese Are Left to Ask Why Schools Crumbled

QUOTE: “This is not a natural disaster,” said Ren Yongchang, whose 9-year-old son died inside the destroyed school. His hands were covered in plaster dust as he stood beside the rubble, shouting and weeping as he grabbed the exposed steel rebar of a broken concrete column. “This is not good steel. It doesn’t meet standards. They stole our children.”

New York Times

29 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 9]