Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon

Overview
Ban Ki-moon is the eighth and current Secretary-General  of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, after succeeding Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 in 2007. Before going on to be Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (South Korea)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is in charge of diplomacy for South Korea, as well as handling external trade and matters related to overseas Korean nationals. It was established on 17 July 1948. Until 1998, the ministry was known as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; its jurisdiction over...

 and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service
Diplomatic service
Diplomatic service is the body of diplomats and foreign policy officers maintained by the government of a country to communicate with the governments of other countries. Diplomatic personnel enjoy diplomatic immunity when they are accredited to other countries...

 the year he graduated from university, accepting his first post in New Delhi, India. In the foreign ministry he established a reputation for modesty and competence.

Ban was the Foreign Minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

 of the Republic of Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 from January 2004 to November 2006.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ban Ki-moon'
Start a new discussion about 'Ban Ki-moon'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
Ban Ki-moon is the eighth and current Secretary-General  of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, after succeeding Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 in 2007. Before going on to be Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (South Korea)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is in charge of diplomacy for South Korea, as well as handling external trade and matters related to overseas Korean nationals. It was established on 17 July 1948. Until 1998, the ministry was known as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; its jurisdiction over...

 and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service
Diplomatic service
Diplomatic service is the body of diplomats and foreign policy officers maintained by the government of a country to communicate with the governments of other countries. Diplomatic personnel enjoy diplomatic immunity when they are accredited to other countries...

 the year he graduated from university, accepting his first post in New Delhi, India. In the foreign ministry he established a reputation for modesty and competence.

Ban was the Foreign Minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

 of the Republic of Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 from January 2004 to November 2006. In February 2006, he began to campaign for the office of Secretary-General. Ban was initially considered to be a long shot for the office. As foreign minister of South Korea, however, he was able to travel to all of the countries that were members of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

, a maneuver that turned him into the front runner.

On 13 October 2006, he was elected to be the eighth Secretary-General by the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 and officially succeeded Annan on 1 January 2007. Ban has led several major reforms regarding peacekeeping and UN employment practices. Diplomatically, Ban has taken particularly strong views on Darfur
Darfur conflict
The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality Movement groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in...

, where he helped persuade Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

 to allow peacekeeping troops to enter Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

; and on global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

, pressing the issue repeatedly with former U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. Ban has received strong criticism from OIOS
United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services
The United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services is a United Nations organ whose primary purpose is to perform world-wide audit, investigation, inspection, programme monitoring, evaluation and consulting services to the United Nations Secretariat and the rest of the United Nations...

, the UN internal audit unit, stating that the secretariat, under Ban's leadership, is "drifting into irrelevance".

In 2011, Ban ran unopposed for a second term as Secretary-General. On 21 June 2011, he was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly and therefore will continue to serve until 31 December 2016.

Biography


Ban was born in Eumseong
Eumseong County
Eumseong County is a county in North Chungcheong Province, South Korea.It is the birthplace of UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon....

 in a small farming village in North Chungcheong
Chungcheongbuk-do
Chungcheongbuk-do is a province in the centre of South Korea. It was formed in 1896 from the northeastern half of the former Chungcheong province...

, in 1944 at the end of the Japanese rule of Korea
Korea under Japanese rule
Korea was under Japanese rule as part of Japan's 35-year imperialist expansion . Japanese rule ended in 1945 shortly after the Japanese defeat in World War II....

. His family moved to the nearby town of Chungju
Chungju
Chungju is a city in North Chungcheong province, South Korea. Namsan is a mountain located on the outskirts of the city.The city is famous for the annual martial arts festival held in October. Also of note, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon grew up here....

, where he was raised. During Ban's childhood, his father had a warehouse business, but the warehouse went bankrupt and the family lost its middle-class standard of living. When Ban was six, his family fled to a remote mountainside for the duration of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. After the war ended, his family returned to Chungju
Chungju
Chungju is a city in North Chungcheong province, South Korea. Namsan is a mountain located on the outskirts of the city.The city is famous for the annual martial arts festival held in October. Also of note, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon grew up here....

. Ban has mentioned meeting U.S. military
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 troops at this time.

In secondary school (Chungju High School
Chungju High School
Chungju High School is a public secondary boys' school known for its high reputation and prestige in Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea. It is located on 37 Yeseong Gil, Chungju-city, Chungcheongbuk-do...

), Ban became a star pupil, particularly in his studies of English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

. In 1952, he was selected by his class to address a message to then UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. An early Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. Hammarskjöld...

, but it is unknown if the message was ever sent. In 1962, Ban won an essay contest sponsored by the Red Cross
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human...

 and earned a trip to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 where he lived in San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 with a host family for several months. As part of the trip, Ban met U.S. President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

. When a journalist at the meeting asked Ban what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said, "I want to become a diplomat."

He received a B.A.
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 in International Relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 from Seoul National University
Seoul National University
Seoul National University , colloquially known in Korean as Seoul-dae , is a national research university in Seoul, Korea, ranked 24th in the world in publications in an analysis of data from the Science Citation Index, 7th in Asia and 42nd in the world by the 2011 QS World University Rankings...

 in 1970, and earned a Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration is a professional post-graduate degree in Public Administration. The MPA program prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state/provincial, and federal/national government, and increasingly in nongovernmental organization and...

 from the John F. Kennedy School of Government
John F. Kennedy School of Government
The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University is a public policy and public administration school, and one of Harvard's graduate and professional schools...

 at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1985. At Harvard, he studied under Joseph Nye
Joseph Nye
Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. is the co-founder, along with Robert Keohane, of the international relations theory neoliberalism, developed in their 1977 book Power and Interdependence. Together with Keohane, he developed the concepts of asymmetrical and complex interdependence...

 who remarked that Ban had "a rare combination of analytic clarity, humility and perseverance." Ban was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa)
Honorary degree
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

 by the University of Malta
University of Malta
The University of Malta is the highest educational institution in Malta Europe and is one of the most respected universities in Europe. The University offers undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees, postgraduate Master's Degrees and postgraduate Doctorates .-History:The University of Malta was founded in...

 on 22 April 2009. He further received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public research university, founded in 1861 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The UW is the largest university in the Northwest and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university has three campuses, with its largest campus in the University...

 in October 2009.

In addition to his native Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

, Ban speaks English, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, and Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

. There have been questions, however, regarding the extent of his knowledge of French, one of the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat
United Nations Secretariat
The United Nations Secretariat is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for...

.

Family


Ban Ki-moon met Yoo Soon-taek in 1962 when they were both high school students. Ban was 18 years old, and Yoo Soon-taek was his secondary school's student council president. Ban Ki-moon married Yoo Soon-taek in 1971. They have three adult children: two daughters and a son. His elder daughter, Seon-yong, was born in 1972 and now works for the Korea Foundation
Korea Foundation
The Korea Foundation was established in 1991 by the South Korean National Assembly with the aim to enhance the image of Korea in the world and also to promote academic and cultural exchange programs. It is an independent organization affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs...

 in Seoul. She is married to an Indian. His son, Woo-hyun was born in 1974 in India. He received an MBA from Anderson School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

, and works for an investment firm in New York. His younger daughter, Hyun-hee (born 1976), is a field officer for UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Children's Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II...

 in Nairobi
Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is...

. After his election as Secretary-General, Ban became an icon in his hometown, where his extended family still resides. Over 50,000 gathered in a soccer stadium in Chungju for celebration of the result. In the months following his election, thousands of practitioners of feng shui
Feng shui
Feng shui ' is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi. The original designation for the discipline is Kan Yu ....

 went to his village to determine how it produced such an important person. Ban himself is not a member of any church or religious group and has declined to expound his beliefs: "Now, as Secretary-General, it will not be appropriate at this time to talk about my own belief in any particular religion or God. So maybe we will have some other time to talk about personal matters." His mother is a Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

.

Personality


In the Korean Foreign Ministry his nickname was Ban-jusa, meaning "the Bureaucrat" or "the administrative clerk." The name was used as both positive and negative: complimenting Ban's attention to detail and administrative skill while deriding what was seen as a lack of charisma and subservience to his superiors. The Korean press corps calls him "the slippery eel" for his ability to dodge questions. His demeanor has also been described as a traitor to world peace and "Confucian
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 approach." He is regarded by many as a "stand-up guy" and is known for his "easy smile".

Diplomatic career



After graduating from university, Ban received the top score on Korea's foreign service exam. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Foreign relations of South Korea
The foreign relations of South Korea are South Korean relations with other governments.South Korea maintains diplomatic relations with more than 188 countries. The country has also been a member of the United Nations since 1991, when it became a member state at the same time as North Korea...

 in May 1970, and worked his way up the career ladder during the years of the Yusin Constitution.

His first overseas posting was to New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

, where he served as vice consul and impressed many of his superiors in the foreign ministry with his competence. Ban reportedly accepted a posting to India rather than the more prestigious United States, because in India he would be able to save more money, and send more money home to his family. In 1974 he received his first posting to the United Nations, as First Secretary of the South Permanent Observer Mission (South Korea became a full UN member-state on 17 September 1991). After Park Chung-hee
Park Chung-hee
Park Chung-hee was a Republic of Korea Army general and the leader of South Korea from 1961 to 1979. He seized power in a military coup and ruled until his assassination in 1979. He has been credited with the industrialization of the Republic of Korea through export-led growth...

's 1979 assassination, Ban assumed the post of Director of the United Nations Division.

In 1980 Ban became director of the United Nation's International Organizations and Treaties Bureau, headquartered in Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

. He has been posted twice to the Republic of Korea embassy in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 Between these two assignments he served as Director-General for American Affairs in 1990–1992. In 1992, he became Vice Chairman of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission, following the adoption by South and North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 of the Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

. From 1993–1994 Ban was Korea's deputy ambassador to the United States. He was promoted to the position of Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and International Organizations in 1995 and then appointed National Security Advisor to the President in 1996. Ban's lengthy career overseas has been credited with helping him avoid South Korea's unforgiving political environment.

Ban was appointed Ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

 to Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 in 1998, and a year later he was also elected as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization is an international organization that will be established upon the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, a Convention that outlaws nuclear test explosions. Its seat will be Vienna, Austria...

 (CTBTO PrepCom). During the negotiations, in what Ban considers the biggest blunder of his career, he included in a public letter a positive statement about the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was a treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile systems used in defending areas against missile-delivered nuclear weapons....

 in 2001, not long after the United States had decided to abandon the treaty. To avoid anger from the United States, Ban was fired by President Kim Dae-jung, who also issued a public apology for Ban's statement.

Ban was unemployed for the only time in his career and was expecting to receive an assignment to work in a remote and unimportant embassy. In 2001, during the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

, the Republic of Korea held the rotating presidency, and to Ban's surprise, he was selected to be the chief of staff to general assembly president Han Seung-soo. In 2003, incoming president Roh Moo-hyun
Roh Moo-hyun
Roh Moo-hyun GOM GCB was the 16th President of South Korea .Roh's pre-presidential political career was focused on human rights advocacy for student activists in South Korea. His electoral career later expanded to a focus on overcoming regionalism in South Korean politics, culminating in his...

 selected Ban as one of his foreign policy advisors.

Foreign Minister of South Korea



In 2004, Ban replaced Yoon Young Kwan
Yoon Young Kwan
Yoon, Young-Kwan is a South Korean academic. He is currently a professor at Seoul National University's Department of International Relations and teaches courses on International Political Economy, Introduction to International Relations, and South-North Korean relations. He has been teaching at...

 as foreign minister of South Korea under president Roh Moo-hyun
Roh Moo-hyun
Roh Moo-hyun GOM GCB was the 16th President of South Korea .Roh's pre-presidential political career was focused on human rights advocacy for student activists in South Korea. His electoral career later expanded to a focus on overcoming regionalism in South Korean politics, culminating in his...

. At the beginning of his term, Ban was faced with two major crises: in June 2004 Kim Sun-il
Kim Sun-il
Kim Sun-il was a South Korean translator and Christian missionary who was kidnapped and beheaded in Iraq.- Kidnapping :...

, a Korean translator, was kidnapped and killed in Iraq by Islamic extremists
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

; and in December 2004 dozens of Koreans died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

. Ban survived scrutiny from lawmakers and saw an upturn in his popularity when talks began with North Korea. Ban became actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relationships. In September 2005, as Foreign Minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

, he played a leading role in the diplomatic efforts to adopt the Joint Statement on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue at the Fourth Round of the Six-party talks
Six-party talks
The six-party talks aim to find a peaceful resolution to the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.There has been a series of meetings with six participating states:* The Democratic People's Republic of Korea ;...

 held in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

.

As foreign minister, Ban oversaw the trade and aid policies of South Korea. This work put Ban in the position of signing trade deals and delivering foreign assistance to diplomats who would later be influential in his candidacy for Secretary-General. For example, Ban became the first senior South Korean minister to travel to the Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo , sometimes known locally as Congo-Brazzaville, is a state in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea.The region was dominated by...

 since its independence in 1960.

Campaign for Secretary-General: 2007


2007 Secretary-General candidates
Name Position
 South Korea Ban Ki-moon South Korean foreign minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

 India Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor is an Indian politician and a Member of Parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala...

Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
An Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations is a senior official within the United Nations System, normally appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Secretary-General for a renewable term of four years....

 
for public information; from India
 Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga
Vaira Vike-Freiberga
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga was the sixth President of Latvia, the first female President of Latvia and the first female leader in eastern Europe. She was elected President of Latvia in 1999 and re-elected in 2003.Dr...

President of Latvia
 Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani
Ashraf Ghani
Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is a prominent politician in Afghanistan and the former chancellor of Kabul University. He is also the chairman of the Institute for State Effectiveness, an organization set up in 2005 to promote the ability of states to serve their citizens. Before returning to...

Chancellor of
Kabul University
Kabul University
Kabul University is located in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It was founded in 1931 but officially opened for classes in 1932. Kabul University is currently attended by approximately 7,000 students, of which 1,700 are women. As of 2008, Hamidullah Amin is the chancellor of the university...

, Afghanistan
 Thailand Surakiart Sathirathai
Surakiart Sathirathai
Surakiart Sathirathai was, until September 19 2006, a Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand overseeing Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture.-Family and early career:...

Deputy prime minister
of Thailand
 Jordan Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad
Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein was born 26 January 1964 in Amman, Jordan to Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid head of the Royal Houses of Iraq and Syria and pretender to the Iraqi throne and his Swedish-born wife Margaretha Inga Elisabeth Lind, henceforward known as Majda Raad...

Jordan's ambassador
to the United Nations
 Sri Lanka Jayantha Dhanapala
Jayantha Dhanapala
Professor Jayantha Dhanapala is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and a governing board member of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Dr. Dhanapala was Sri Lanka's official candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations,...

Former Under-Secretary-General
for disarmament; from Sri Lanka

In February 2006, Ban declared his candidacy to replace Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 as UN Secretary-General at the end of 2006, becoming the first South Korean to run for the office. Though Ban was the first to announce a candidacy, he was not originally considered a serious contender.

Over the next eight months, Ban made ministerial visits to each of the 15 countries with a seat on the Security Council. Of the seven candidates, he topped each of the four straw poll
Straw poll
A straw poll or straw vote is a vote with nonbinding results. Straw polls provide dialogue among movements within large groups, reflecting trends like organization and motivation...

s conducted by the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

: on 24 July, 14 September, 28 September, and 2 October.

During the period in which these polls took place, Ban made major speeches to the Asia Society
Asia Society
The Asia Society is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating the world about Asia. It has several centers in the United States and around the world Hong Kong, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, and Melbourne...

 and the Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

 in New York. To be confirmed, Ban needed not only to win the support of the diplomatic community, but also to be able to avoid a veto from any of the five permanent members of the council: People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Ban was popular in Washington for having pushed to send South Korean troops to Iraq, and had the support of the Bush administration as he pursued the position. But Ban also opposed several U.S. positions: he expressed his support for the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 and favoured an entirely non-confrontational approach to dealing with North Korea. Ban said during his campaign that he would like to visit North Korea in person to meet with Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

 directly. Ban was viewed as a stark contrast from Kofi Annan, who was considered charismatic, but perceived as a weak manager because of problems surrounding the UN's oil-for-food program in Iraq.

Ban struggled to win the approval of France. His official biography states that he speaks both English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, the two working languages of the UN Secretariat. He has repeatedly struggled to answer questions in French from journalists. Ban has repeatedly acknowledged his limitations at French, but assured French diplomats that he was devoted to continuing his study. At a press conference on 11 January 2007, Ban remarked, “My French perhaps could be improved, and I am continuing to work. I have taken French lessons over the last few months. I think that, even if my French isn't perfect, I will continue to study it.”

As the Secretary-General election drew closer, there was rising criticism of the South Korean campaign on Ban's behalf. Specifically, his alleged practice of systematically visiting all member states of the Security Council in his role as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade to secure votes in his support by signing trade deals with European countries and pledging aid
Aid
In international relations, aid is a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another, given at least partly with the objective of benefiting the recipient country....

 to developing countries
Developing country
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

 were the focus of many news articles. According to The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

, "rivals have privately grumbled that Republic of Korea, which has the world's 11th-largest economy, has wielded its economic might to generate support for his candidacy." Ban reportedly said that these insinuations were "groundless." In an interview on 17 September 2006 he stated: "As front-runner, I know that I can become a target of this very scrutinizing process," and "I am a man of integrity."

In the final informal poll on 2 October, Ban received fourteen favorable votes and one abstention ("no opinion") from the fifteen members of the Security Council. The one abstention came from the Japanese delegation, who vehemently opposed the idea of a Korean taking the role of Secretary-General. Due to the overwhelming support of Ban by the rest of the Security Council, Japan later voted in favor of Ban to avoid controversy. More importantly, Ban was the only one to escape a veto; each of the other candidates received at least one "no" vote from among the five permanent members. After the vote, Shashi Tharoor, who finished second, withdrew his candidacy and China's Permanent Representative
Permanent Representative
A Permanent Representative is the head of a diplomatic mission to one of various international organisations. The best known of the organisations to which states send Permanent Representatives is the United Nations; of these, the most high-profile ones are those assigned to headquarters in New...

 to the UN told reporters that "it is quite clear from today's straw poll that Minister Ban Ki-moon is the candidate that the Security Council will recommend to the General Assembly."
On 9 October, the Security Council formally chose Ban as its nominee. In the public vote, he was supported by all 15 members of the council. On 13 October, the 192-member General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 acclaimed
Acclamation
An acclamation, in its most common sense, is a form of election that does not use a ballot. "Acclamation" or "acclamatio" can also signify a kind of ritual greeting and expression of approval in certain social contexts in ancient Rome.-Voting:...

 Ban as Secretary-General.

First Term as Secretary-General



When Ban became Secretary-General, The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

listed the major challenges facing him in 2007: "rising nuclear demons in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and North Korea, a haemorrhaging wound in Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

, unending violence in the Middle East, looming environmental disaster, escalating international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

, the spread of HIV/AIDS. And then the more parochial concerns, such as the largely unfinished business of the most sweeping attempt at reform in the UN's history." Before starting, Kofi Annan shared the story that when the first Secretary-General Trygve Lie
Trygve Lie
Trygve Halvdan Lie was a Norwegian politician, labour leader, government official and author. He served as Norwegian Foreign minister during the critical years of the Norwegian government in exile in London from 1940 to 1945. From 1946 to 1952 he was the first Secretary-General of the United...

 left office, he told his successor, Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. An early Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. Hammarskjöld...

, "You are about to take over the most impossible job on earth."

On 23 January 2007 Ban took office as the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. Ban's term as Secretary-General opened with a flap. At his first encounter with the press as Secretary-General on 2 January 2007, he refused to condemn the death penalty imposed on Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 by the Iraqi High Tribunal, remarking that “The issue of capital punishment is for each and every member State to decide”. Ban's statements contradicted long-standing United Nations opposition to the death penalty as a human-rights concern. He quickly clarified his stance in the case of Barzan al-Tikriti and Awad al-Bandar, two top officials who were convicted of the deaths of 148 Shia Muslims in the Iraqi village of Dujail
Dujail
Dujail is a small Shia town in the Salah ad Din Governorate. It is situated about north of Iraq's capital, Baghdad, and has approximately 10,000 inhabitants. It is the site of the 1982 Dujail Massacre....

 in the 1980s. In a statement through his spokesperson on 6 January, he “strongly urged the Government of Iraq to grant a stay of execution to those whose death sentences may be carried out in the near future.” On the broader issue, he told a Washington, D.C., audience on 16 January 2007 that he recognized and encouraged the “growing trend in international society, international law and domestic policies and practices to phase out eventually the death penalty.”

On the tenth anniversary of Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 leader Pol Pot
Pol Pot
Saloth Sar , better known as Pol Pot, , was a Cambodian Maoist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 until his death in 1998. From 1976 to 1979, he served as the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea....

's death, 15 April 2008, Ban Ki-moon appealed for the senior leaders of the regime to be brought to justice. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, commonly known as the "Khmer Rouge Tribunal", is a national court established pursuant to an agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations to try senior members of the Khmer Rouge for serious violations of Cambodian...

-tribunal, which was established by both the United Nations and Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 and which became operational in 2006, is expected to continue until at least 2010.

Cabinet


In early January, Ban appointed the key members of his cabinet. As his Deputy Secretary-General
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General
The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations is an office created to handle many of the administrative responsibilities, help manage Secretariat operations, and ensure coherence of activities and programmes. The post was formally established by the General Assembly at the end of 1997...

, he selected Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

n foreign minister and professor Asha-Rose Migiro
Asha-Rose Migiro
Asha-Rose Mtengeti Migiro is a Tanzanian lawyer and politician. On January 5, 2007, she was named as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. She was formally appointed and assumed office on February 1. She is married to Cleophas Migiro, and the couple has two daughters...

 – a move that pleased African diplomats who had concerns of losing power without Annan in office.

The top position devoted exclusively to management, Under-Secretary-General for Management, was filled by Alicia Bárcena Ibarra
Alicia Bárcena Ibarra
Alicia Isabel Adriana Bárcena Ibarra is a Mexican biologist who currently serves as the United Nations Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean .-Education:...

 of Mexico. Bárcena was considered a UN insider, having previously served as Annan's chief of staff. Her appointment was seen by critics as an indication that Ban would not make dramatic changes to UN bureaucracy. Ban appointed Sir John Holmes
John Holmes (British diplomat)
Sir John Holmes, GCVO, KBE, CMG is a British diplomat who is a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator-Life and career:Holmes was born in Preston, in the north of England...

, the British Ambassador to France, as Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs and coordinator of emergency relief.

Ban initially said that he would delay making other appointments until his first round of reforms were approved, but he later abandoned this idea after receiving criticism. In February he continued with appointments, selecting B. Lynn Pascoe
B. Lynn Pascoe
B. Lynn Pascoe is the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Political Affairs.Pascoe was previously United States Ambassador to Indonesia after being nominated by President George W. Bush from 2004 to 2007, and to Malaysia from 1999 to 2001....

, the U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, to become Under-Secretary-General for political affairs.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno
Jean-Marie Guéhenno
Jean-Marie Guéhenno is a former French diplomat. He served as the United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. Guéhenno was appointed to the position in 2000 and retired in August 2008. He is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the NYU Center on International...

, a French diplomat, who had served as Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping operations under Annan, remained in office. Ban selected Vijay K. Nambiar
Vijay K. Nambiar
Vijay Nambiar is a veteran Indian diplomat and the Chef de Cabinet under UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon since 1 January 2007. He holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General and is a member of the Secretary-General's Senior Management Team....

 as his chief of staff.

The appointment of many women to top jobs was seen as fulfilling a campaign promise Ban had made to increase the role of women in the United Nations. During Ban's first year as Secretary-General, more top jobs were being handled by women than ever before. Though not appointed by Ban, the president of the General Assembly, Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa
Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa
Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa is a lawyer and diplomat from Bahrain who was the President of the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly which began on September 12, 2006, and closed on September 17, 2007...

, is only the third woman to hold this position in UN history.

Reform agenda


During his first month in office, Ban proposed two major restructurings: to split the UN peacekeeping operation into two departments and to combine the political affairs and disarmament department. His proposals were met with stiff resistance from members of the UN General Assembly who bristled under Ban's request for rapid approval. The proposed merger of the disarmament and political affairs offices was criticized by many in the developing world, partially because of rumours that Ban hoped to place American B. Lynn Pascoe in charge of the new office. Alejandro D. Wolff, then acting American ambassador, said the United States backed his proposals.

After the early bout of reproach, Ban began extensive consultation with UN ambassadors, agreeing to have his peacekeeping proposal extensively vetted. After the consultations, Ban dropped his proposal to combine political affairs and disarmament. Ban nevertheless pressed ahead with reforms on job requirements at the UN requiring that all positions be considered five-year appointments, all receive strict annual performance reviews, and all financial disclosures be made public. Though unpopular in the New York office, the move was popular in other UN offices around the world and lauded by UN observers. Ban's proposal to split the peacekeeping operation into one group handling operations and another handling arms was finally adopted in mid-March 2007.

A new agenda for negotiations on UN reform was approved by the General Assembly in April 2007, covering a number of loosely related initiatives to improve the coherence of the UN system. Most proposals required the approval of member states; others provided further impetus to already initiated reform measures. Ban Ki-moon supported the ongoing negotiations on the consolidation of UN activities at the country level under the ‘Delivering as One’ initiative through the implementation of the ‘One UN’ pilot projects and the harmonization of business practices in the UN system. He also gave strong support to the proposal on establishing a unified gender organisation. Whereas little was achieved on most of the controversial issues, the General Assembly approved in September 2010 the establishment of ‘UN Women’ as the new UN organization for the empowerment of women and gender equality. UN Women was established by unifying the mandates and resources for greater impact of four small entities and its first head is Ms Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile.

Key issues


The Secretary-General of the United Nations has the ability to influence debate on nearly any global issue. Although unsuccessful in some areas, Ban's predecessor Annan had been successful in increasing the UN peacekeeping presence and in popularizing the Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015...

. UN observers were eager to see on which issues Ban intends to focus, in addition to reform of the United Nations bureaucracy.

On several prominent issues, such as proliferation in Iran and North Korea, Ban has deferred to the Security Council. Ban has also declined to become involved on the issue of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

's status. In 2007, the Republic of Nauru raised the issue of allowing the Republic of China (Taiwan) to sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women is an international convention adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly....

. Ban referenced the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, and refused the motion. On 19 July 2007, Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian is a former Taiwanese politician who was the 10th and 11th-term President of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008. Chen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan independence, ended more than fifty years of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan...

 wrote to request admission into the UN by the name Taiwan. Ban rejected the request.

Global warming



Ban early on identified global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 as one of the key issues of his administration. In a White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in January, Ban urged Bush to take steps to curb greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

 emissions. On 1 March 2007 in a speech before the UN General Assembly, Ban emphasized his concerns about global warming. Ban stated, "For my generation, coming of age at the height of the Cold War, fear of nuclear winter
Nuclear winter
Nuclear winter is a predicted climatic effect of nuclear war. It has been theorized that severely cold weather and reduced sunlight for a period of months or even years could be caused by detonating large numbers of nuclear weapons, especially over flammable targets such as cities, where large...

 seemed the leading existential threat on the horizon. But the danger posed by war to all humanity — and to our planet — is at least matched by climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

" (referring to Global Warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

, see P:GW portal). On 3 September 2009 he further emphasized his concerns at the World Climate Conference in Geneva, when he stated, "Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards an abyss".

Middle East


On Thursday, 22 March 2007, while Ban was taking part in the first stop of a tour of the Middle East, a mortar attack hit just 80 metres (262.5 ft) from where the Secretary-General was standing, interrupting a press conference in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

's Green Zone
Green Zone
The Green Zone is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. It is a area of central Baghdad, Iraq, that was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city...

, and visibly shaking Ban and others. No one was hurt in the incident. The United Nations had already limited its role in Iraq after its Baghdad headquarters was bombed in August 2003, killing 22 people. Ban said, however, that he still hoped to find a way for the United Nations to "do more for Iraqi social and political development."

On his trip, Ban visited Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, where Ban attended a conference with leaders of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 and met for several hours with Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Sudanese president who had resisted UN peacekeepers in Darfur. While Ban met with Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

, the Palestinian president, he declined to meet with Ismail Haniya
Ismail Haniya
Ismail Haniyeh ; is a senior political leader of Hamas and one of two disputed Prime Ministers of the Palestinian National Authority, the matter being under political and legal dispute. He became Prime Minister after the legislative elections of 2006 which Hamas won...

 of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

.

Ban Ki-moon criticized Israel on 10 March 2008 for planning to build housing units in a West Bank settlement, saying the decision conflicts with "Israel's obligation under the road map" for Middle East peace.

During a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, 7 January 2009, Ban called for an immediate end to fighting in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. He criticized both sides, Israel for bombarding Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 and Hamas for firing rockets into Israel.

Although the 2009 Iranian presidential election was widely disputed, Ban Ki-moon sent a traditional congratulation message to the Iranian president upon his inauguration. He kept silent over the request of Shirin Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. On 10 October 2003, Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women's,...

 to visit Iran after the crackdown on peaceful post-election protests by the Iranian police – an event that was perceived by some as a crime against humanity
Crime against humanity
Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings...

 . More than 4000 people were arrested and nearly 70 were killed, some while being held in prison. In another incident, several prominent intellectuals including Akbar Ganji
Akbar Ganji
Akbar Ganji is an Iranian journalist and writer. He has been described as "Iran’s preeminent political dissident", and a "wildly popular pro-democracy journalist" who has crossed press censorship "red lines" regularly...

, Hamid Dabashi, Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 went on a three-day hunger strike in front of the UN. The incident was followed by an official request by more than 200 intellectuals, human rights activists and reformist politicians in Iran for the UN reaction. Ban Ki-moon however did not take any action to stop the violence in Iran.

Darfur


Ban took the first foreign trip of his term to attend the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 summit in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, in January 2007 as part of an effort to reach out to the Group of 77
Group of 77
The Group of 77 at the United Nations is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations. There were 77 founding members of the organization, but the organization has...

. He repeatedly identified Darfur as the top humanitarian priority of his administration. Ban played a large role, with several face-to-face meetings with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in convincing Sudan to allow UN peacekeepers to enter the Darfur region. On 31 July 2007 the United Nations Security Council approved sending 26,000 UN peacekeepers into the region to join 7,000 troops from the African Union. The resolution was heralded as a major breakthrough in confronting the Darfur conflict
Darfur conflict
The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality Movement groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in...

 (although the United States labeled the conflict a "genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

," the United Nations has declined to do so). The first phase of the peacekeeping mission began in October 2007.

Myanmar


Ban Ki-moon flew to Myanmar on 25 May 2008 to guide a conference with international agencies aimed at boosting donations for the nation, which was struck by Cyclone Nargis
Cyclone Nargis
Cyclone Nargis , was a strong tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Burma. The cyclone made landfall in Burma on Friday, May 2, 2008, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 138,000 fatalities...

 on 2 May 2008. The conference was initiated after Ban had met with Than Shwe
Than Shwe
Senior General Than Shwe is a Burmese military leader and politician who was chairman of the State Peace and Development Council from 1992 to 2011. During the period, he held key positions of power including commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces and head of Union Solidarity and...

, the leading figure of Myanmar's government 23 May 2008. Ban toured the devastation—especially in the hard-hit Irrawaddy Delta
Irrawaddy Delta
The Irrawaddy Delta or Ayeyarwady Delta lies in the Ayeyarwady Region , the lowest expanse of land in Burma that fans out from the limit of tidal influence at Myan Aung to the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, 290 km to the south at the mouth of the Ayeyarwady River...

—23 May 2008 and 24 May 2008. Myanmar officials agreed to allow the Yangon International Airport
Yangon International Airport
Yangon International Airport , located in Mingaladon, at north of downtown Yangon, is the primary international airport of Myanmar and the second largest airport in the country....

 to be used as a logistical hub for aid distribution.

Campaign for second term as Secretary-General: 2011


On 6 June 2011, Ban Ki-moon formally announced his candidacy for a second consecutive term as Secretary-General of the United Nations. He announced his candidacy at a press conference, following a meeting with the Asian group of countries at the United Nations. Ban Ki-moon's first mandate as the Secretary-General was set to end on 31 December 2011. The five permanent Security Council members supported his candidacy. There was no declared rival for the post.

On 17 June 2011, he received the recommendation of the Security Council by a unanimous vote, and, on 21 June, his nomination was confirmed by a unanimous acclamation vote at the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

.

His new five-year term as Secretary-General will commence on 1 January 2012 and will end on 31 December 2016.

Honors and awards

  • Ban Ki-moon was awarded the Order of Service Merit by the Government of the Republic of Korea
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

     on three occasions: in 1975, 1986 and 2006.
  • For his accomplishments as an envoy, he received the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria
    Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria
    The Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria is a state decoration of the Republic of Austria...

     in 2001.
  • He was bestowed the Grand Cross of Rio Branco by the government of Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

    .
  • He was bestowed the Gran Cruz del Sol by the government of Peru
    Peru
    Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

    .
  • He was bestowed a Doctor Honoris Causa by the National University of San Marcos
    National University of San Marcos
    The National University of San Marcos is the most important and respected higher-education institution in Peru. Its main campus, the University City, is located in Lima...

    , the main university in Peru and the oldest of the Americas (2011).
  • He was bestowed a Doctor of Laws Degree Honoris Causa by the University of the Philippines College of Law
    University of the Philippines College of Law
    University of the Philippines College of Law or UP Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines. Since 1948, it has been located at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship campus of UP's seven constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of...

    , the national university of the country, in 2008.
  • He was honored with James A. Van Fleet Award
    James A. Van Fleet Award
    The General James A. Van Fleet Award , given annually since 1995 by The Korea Society, is awarded “to one or more distinguished Koreans or Americans in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the promotion of U.S.-Korea relations.” It is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of...

     by the Korea Society
    Korea Society
    The Korea Society is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501 organization with individual and corporate members that is dedicated solely to the promotion of greater awareness, understanding and cooperation between the people of the United States and Korea...

     in New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

     for his contributions to friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea.

Controversy


According to The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

, "some U.N. employees and delegates" expressed resentment at Ban's perceived favoritism in the appointment of South Korean nationals in key posts. Previous U.N. chiefs such as Kurt Waldheim
Kurt Waldheim
Kurt Josef Waldheim was an Austrian diplomat and politician. Waldheim was the fourth Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981, and the ninth President of Austria, from 1986 to 1992...

 (Austria), Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar y de la Guerra is a Peruvian diplomat who served as the fifth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1, 1982 to December 31, 1991. He studied in Colegio San Agustín of Lima, and then at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. In 1995, he ran unsuccessfully...

 (Peru) and Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Boutros Boutros-Ghali is an Egyptian politician and diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996...

 (Egypt) brought small teams of trusted aides or clerical workers from their country's Foreign Ministry. But according to "some officials" in the Post story, Ban has gone further, boosting South Korea's presence in U.N. ranks by more than 20 percent during his first year in office. In response, Ban and his aides have claimed that allegations of favoritism are wrong, and that some of the harshest criticisms against him have undercurrents of racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

. He said that the South Korean nationals he had appointed — including Choi Young-jin
Choi Young-jin
Choi Young-jin currently serves as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire...

, who has served as a high-ranking official in the United Nation's peacekeeping department — are highly qualified for their positions. Others such as Donald P. Gregg, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea say the complaints are driven by envy, "I think being from South Korea, and people have growing respect for South Korea, that's a great enhancement for the secretary general. "If he brings along talented people who he knows very well, I think that's also a plus." U.N. records show that South Korea, the organization's eleventh-largest financial contributor, had 54 South Korean nationals assigned to its mission six months before Ban took over the top U.N. post. By contrast, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, a lesser financial contributor, had 759 nationals in its mission.

Former U.N. Under Secretary Inga-Britt Ahlenius
Inga-Britt Ahlenius
Inga-Britt Monica Stigsdotter Ahlenius is a Swedish auditor, public servant and former Under-Secretary-General for United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services .Ahlenius was born in Karlstad, Sweden...

 denounced Ban Ki Moon after resigning her post in 2010, calling him reprehensible.

Bias


During the ROKS Cheonan sinking
ROKS Cheonan sinking
The ROKS Cheonan sinking occurred on 26 March 2010, when the Cheonan, a South Korean Navy ship carrying 104 personnel, sank off the country's west coast near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 seamen...

 saga, he took the unusual step of demanding action against North Korea for the alleged sinking of a vessel from his country. This move was perceived as unusual because it was rare for any Secretary-General—and particularly Ban Ki-moon—to comment on the Security Council taking action on a particular issue as his office had, in the past, tended to be extremely deferential to the Security Council.

External links