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Ban Ki-Moon to Run for UN Secretary General
Will Be First South Korean to Bid for Top UN Post
South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon ()

South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon () will run for the next UN secretary general's election. Minister Ban will be the first South Korean who will run for the UN's highest position.

In a press conference on Feb. 14, 2006, South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) announced that Foreign Minister Ban would run for UN secretary general.

The announcement was made in the morning of the day by Yu Myung-Hwan (٥), vice minister of foreign affairs and trade.

He said that Seoul government would officially notify UN Security Council of Ban's running for UN secretary general in due time.

In a statement Yu said "Minister Ban will make a huge contribution to the UN's reform on the basis of four decades of his administrative and managerial experience and capability in diplomacy."

Some countries made recommendations for Minister Ban's running for UN's top post, according to a ministry source.

The Seoul government's decision to have Minister Ban to run for UN's top job was initially made in an inter-ministry consultation in October, 2005. But, the decision was kept quiet until the morning of Feb. 14, 2006.

The source said that a candidate from Asian countries would be most likely to succeed the current UN Secretary General Kofi Anan.

All the foreign ministers of UN member countries and North Korea were already informed about Seoul government's decision.

Who Is Ban Ki-Moon?

Ban Ki-moon, who was born on June 13, 1944, has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea since January 2004.

He received his Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Seoul National University in 1970.

He earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1985.

His first overseas posting was to New Delhi, India. After working in the United Nations Division at headquarters, he served as First Secretary at the Permanent Observer Mission of the ROK to the UN in New York.

He subsequently assumed the post of Director of the United Nations Division. He has been posted twice to the ROK Embassy in Washington D.C. Between these two assignments he served as Director-General for American Affairs in 1990-1992.

He was promoted to the position of Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and International Organizations in 1995. He was then appointed National Security Advisor to the President in 1996, and assumed the office of Vice Minister in 2000.

His most recent post was as Foreign Policy Advisor to the President Roh Moo-hyun.

While serving as Ambassador to Austria, he was elected as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom) in 1999. During the ROK's Presidency of the 56th Session of the UN General Assembly (GA) in 2001, he worked as Chef de Cabinet of the President of the GA.

Mr. Ban has been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations. In 1992, he served as Vice Chairman of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission, following the adoption by South and North Korea of the Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In September 2005, as Foreign Minister, 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 held in Beijing, China.

Mr. Ban has twice been awarded the Order of Service Merit in 1975 and 1986 by the Government of the Republic of Korea. For his accomplishments as an envoy, he received the Grand Decoration of Honor from the Republic of Austria in 2001. A year later, the government of Brazil bestowed the Grand Cross of Rio Branco upon him. In September 2005, the Korea Society in New York honored him with the Van Fleet Award for his contributions to US-ROK friendship.

Mr. Ban is married and has a son and two daughters.






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