- In-Country Power
- International Power
- Military Strength
- Special Skill: Polite Peace-maker
- Official Title: Secretary-General
- Government: Global Governance
- Years Left in Office: To 2011; re-election possible
- Political Classification: N/A
- Education: BA in International, MS in Public Administration
- Age: 74 (born June 13, 1944)
Ban Ki-moon Facts and Information
- Ban Ki Moon is the 8th, and current, UN Secretary General of the United Nation
- Ban Ki Moon is the first South Korean to hold this position….at a time where North/South Korean relations are a critical juncture
- Ban Ki Moon succeeded Kofi Annan (from Ghana) in this position 2007
- The UN General Secretary is largely an overseer and public face of the UN, but does not have any real political power with the organization
If you’ve read any news story on any world topic in the last 5 years, you’ve most likely heard the words Ban Ki Moon tossed around somewhere. No this isn’t a new space exploration mission to the moon, it’s actually the 8th UN SECRETARY GENERAL perhaps one of the hardest jobs in the world. The UN Secretary General is truly an ambiguous job in that he or she is supposed to be a “World moderator/ Administrator”. Surely Mr. Moon can handle the burden of such a daunting task because he has been elected twice once in 2007 to succeed previous UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and returning in 2011 for a second term until 2016. Mr. Moon has been noted to be a big contrast from the previous UN secretary general Annan in that Annan was more of an activist and staunch moderator while Moon is a modest quiet guy who likes to administrate rather than create commotion.
Born on June 13, 1944 in The Republic of South Korea, Ban Ki Moon was born during a time of war which he states was one of the factors that led him to become a diplomat. Early in his life he moved out of his birth town and into the remote mountainside to get away from the Korean War. Through these ashes Ban Ki Moon shot out like a phoenix using education as a crutch for greatness. Early on he had a knack for English and it showed when his school elected Ban to write a letter to Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold. Nothing ever came of it but when he received a chance to write an essay for the Red Cross contest, he won and was awarded a trip to the United States. It was at this time while visiting America he met with President John F. Kennedy and cemented his desire to become a diplomat in the future. From that point on Moon was able to attend the prestigious Seoul University and receive a bachelors in International Studies in 1970 and later on attend Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government to earn his Masters of Public Administration.
Dare I go on to expand upon Mr. Moon’s credibility and accomplished life history? Of course it doesn’t stop here! Moon went off to acquire a job in South Korea’s Foreign Affairs Ministry with his first post in India. Stacking credibility wherever he went but it wasn’t until 1975 that Moon’s career with the UN and world fame really kicked off. His first position in the UN was with Foreign Ministry’s UN Division and performed many other occupations within the UN division such as acting Director General for American Affairs and Director of the UN international Organizations and Treaties Bureau. One of the most important positions he held within his time was Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. It was at this time that Moon made a drastic error by providing a positive public statement about the Anti -Ballistic Missile Treaty; a Treaty that the US condemned. His misconception led to his eventual firing by then President Kim Dae Jung.
However, Ban Ki Moon is living proof that some people were destined for greatness. Mr. Moon bum out of luck was supposed to be assigned a job in bum heck middle of nowhere but INSTEAD?? During the 56th Session of the UN General Assembly he was elected to be the Chief of Staff to General Assembly President Seung Soo Han. Talk about Luck huh? You get fired only to receive an even BETTER JOB! My boy Ban has even stated that this chance occurrence was a “Misfortune turned into a blessing”. In 2004 Ban became the Foreign Minister for South Korea which essentially paved the way for his position as UN Secretary General. Being a Foreign Minister, he negotiated talks between many countries such as China, Russia, the US and Japan which helped his credibility while running for election at the UN.
In 2006 Ban Ki Moon was elected as the UN Secretary General a position in which he was the first South Korean to hold. His predecessor Kofi Annan described the job to Moon as “The world’s most impossible job” and so that way it seems. Since Ban Ki Moon has been elected he has face a myriad of problems from the Iraqi war to Darfur to North Korea’s nuclear threats. Some of his initiatives have been
- 2007 Climate Change Summit which was an effort to bring environmental issues in to the global agenda.
- The Millennium Development Goals to focus on emphasis of poverty in Africa and Women and Children’s Health.
- He established successfully UN Women and advocated women’s rights and gender equality as a big part of his agenda. He has also increased the number of women in the organization to more than 40 percent which is the highest in history.
- Initiated the New Horizons peacekeeping initiative and Global Field Support Strategy to improve situations for those impacted by crises or devastated by war.
- Overall he has been a staunch supporter of disarmament especially in North Korea. He has been faced with criticism in that he has not been as firm as Kofi Annan.
Mr. Moon is also a firm supporter in LGBT campaign. On March 7, 2012 Moon gave a motivational and historic speech supporting the decriminalization of same sex relationships and ending discrimination of the LGBT community. Although he was met with some support, many representatives in the council protested by walking out before the speech even began.
Ban Ki Moon currently has 3 children and is married with his high school sweetheart Mrs. Yoo Soon Taek. His children also work for Humanitarian aid organizations such as UNICEF to follow the footsteps of their father. Moon has also been somewhat of a hero and celebrity in his old village. Although he has faced criticism of doubts on his fluency in French, his administrative attitude and “Slippery eel” like way to avoid reporters’ questions, many have also complimented his “Confucian” like approach and his representation of South Korea in the global stage is looked upon by the citizens of South Korea as the pride of the Republic of South Korea. He seems to have jokes as exemplified with his meeting with “Gangnam Style” star Psy when he said he was “Jealous “that he is overshadowed by the new most popular South Korean in the world. Ban Ki Moon keep doing what you’re doing because you seem to be doing it right.
Plaidcasts Involving this Leader
- Liberating Libya 2: International Invasion Intrigue Mar 30, 2011
- Nuke Group Review: part 2 Apr 17, 2010
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