On 1 January 2007, Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea became the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, bringing to his post 37 years of service both in Government and on the global stage. At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban was his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Mr. Ban has long-standing ties with the United Nations, dating back to 1975, when he worked for the Foreign Ministry’s United Nations Division. That work expanded over the years, with assignments as First Secretary at the Republic of Korea’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, Director of the United Nations Division at the Ministry’s headquarters in Seoul and Ambassador to Vienna, during which time, in 1999, he served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.
Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations. In 1992, as Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister, he served as Vice-Chair of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission following the adoption of the historic Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In September 2005, as Foreign Minister, he played a leading role in bringing about another landmark agreement aimed at promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula with the adoption at the six-party talks of the Joint Statement on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.
Mr. Ban received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. In 1985, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.