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Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General

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Ban Ki-Moon is the Secretary-general of the United Nations Organization. He was first elected Secretary-General on 13 October 2006, and officially started on 2nd January, 2007, and unanimously elected for a second term on 21st June, 2011.

In his first year as Secretary General, he was thought of as the "invisible man" of the United Nations, because few people knew his name and he was often called Mr Moon. In Korea, a person's surname is first, and many people didn't understand why he was called Ban or Mr. Ban.

Little is known of Ban Ki-Moon's family, other than their original location, and the fact that his father lost his business at one time. Mr Ban recently visited his mother in Korea.

Born: 13 June 1944

Birthplace: Eumseong, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea

ban ki moon day1
Mr Ban Ki-Moon on his first official day in office, 2nd January 2007
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe


Mother: Shin Hyun-soon

Wife: Yoo Soon-taek

Children: three, one son, two daughters

High School: Chungju High School

Bachelor Degree: International Relations, from Seoul National University, 1970

Masters Degree: Public Administration, from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, 1985

After completing his batchelor's degree, Mr. Ban sat for the Korean foreign service exam, earning the top score, and he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He accepted a posting to New Delhi, as vice consul. In 1974, he became First Secretary of the South Korean Permanent Observer Mission. In 1979, after Korean President Park Chung-hee was assassinated, Mr. Ban became Director of the United Nations Division.

The following year, Ban Ki-Moon was appointed director of the United Nations International Organizations and Treaties Bureau, in Seoul.

  • Director-General for American Affairs 1990
  • Vice Chairman of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission, 1992
  • Deputy Ambassador to the United States, 1993
  • Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and International Organizations, 1995
  • National Security Advisor to the President, 1996
  • Ambassador to Austria, 1998
  • Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, 1999
  • Fired by President Kim Dae-jung, who issued a public apology for a misstatement on the US ABM Treaty
  • Chief of staff to general assembly president Han Seung-soo
  • Foreign policy advisor to Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, 2003
  • Foreign Minister of Korea, 2004
  • Secretary-General, United Nations Organization, 2007

    Surprisingly, Mr Ban Ki Moon says little or nothing about many of the things he should speak out about, including crimes against children.


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