Ban Ki-moon Biography

Ban Ki-moon (Eumseong, North Chungcheong, 13 June 1944). Internationalist and Diplomat of South Korean origin, who is known on the world stage for having held for two continuous terms the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations, which he held first between 2007 and 2011, and then from 2012 to 2016.

He was kofi Annan’s successor and worked from the outset for the global campaign to mitigate global warming. Similarly from the outset, he led efforts to try to reform different areas of the UN, especially the Peace Forces.

Ban Ki-moon was born on June 13, 1844 in Eumseong County, Chungcheong Province, in present-day South Korean territory. Ki-moon (which is his name, Ban being his surname) thus becoming the eldest of the six children of a middle-class family, who developed his life in full Japanese occupation.

In 1847 his family decided to move to another village, called Cheongju, where Ki-moon lived the years of his childhood. However, the war led to the breakdown of the family business, as well as the need to flee into the mountains, in order to flee the armies that faced each other from the north and south during the Korean War. These were difficult days, during which he and his family, as well as hundreds of Koreans, went hungry and needs.

After the war ended, the family returned to Cheongju, where he tried to return to his regular life. Ban Ki-moon then continued with his initial training, excelling from an early age for his intelligence. During high school, he was a brilliant student. Similarly, at that time, he learned to speak fluent English.

According to what his biographers have pointed out, as a teenager he walked a little over nine kilometers, to visit an American fertilizer factory, in order to practice with employees coming from America this language. His good qualifications led him in 1956, aged just twelve, to be selected in order to address a message to the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold.

Visit to the United States

In 1962, fate surprised him with a trip to the United States, which he received as a prize for an essay contest, sponsored by the Red Cross, in which he participated. For several months he stayed with an American family in San Francisco, California.

Likewise, at that time, he came to know personally Jhon F. Kennedy, who at that time was in office. By this time, according to what an interview conducted during the meeting, Ban Ki-moon was already clear at that time that he wanted to dedicate his life to practicing the career of Diplomacy. That same year, he would also meet Yoo Soon-taek at his high school whom he would marry nine years later and had three children: Seon-yon (born 1972), Woo-hyun (1974) and Hyun-hee (1976).

Diplomatic Career

Consono with his vocation, Ban Ki-moon received his bachelor’s degree in International Relations in 1970 from Seoul National University. 50 years later, in 1985, he graduated from Harvard University, where he earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Jhon F. Kennedy School of Government from this house of study, where he had the opportunity to be a student of Joseph Nye, author of the Theory Neoliberal, within international relations.

After thirty years of work as an Internationalist, Ban Ki-moon was appointed as South Korean Foreign Minister.

Two years later, in 2006, he began his campaign, to be elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations, whose presidency was held at the time by Kofi Annan.

Although the press did not consider him a favorite, during his time as Chancellor of South Korea, Ban Ki-moon had garnered good relations and his work was known to all representatives of the member states to the Security Council, who recommended their election to the General Assembly.

United Nations

Ban Ki-moon was elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations on 13 October 2006. Three months later, on 1 January 2007, he formally took office. After four years in office, Ban Ki-moon was elected to a second term, framed between 2012 and 2016, a period that began to practice on January 1, 2012.

His management within the UN has been characterized by his efforts to renew and update various units of this organization. He has also been steadfast in his task of dealing with the presidents of industrialized countries to take action on the emanation of greenhouse gases and their direct impact on global warming.

His career as a Diplomat has earned him several awards and accolades, including the Order of Merit, South Korea’s top distinction, which he has won on three occasions: 1975, 1986 and 2006.

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Ban Ki-moon Biography
Source: Education  
August 22, 2019

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