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South Korea | Ban Ki-Moon

The minister has long been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean ties.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 20:18 IST

"The moral authority of the United Nations depends on its ability to help people most in need, and it must do so with the highest ethical standards and professionalism".

- Ban Ki-Moon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Rising through the ranks of the Ministry, Ban Ki-Moon has represented a divided nation that has emerged from the total destruction of war to become a thriving democracy and market economy during the past three decades.

His guiding vision has been that of a peaceful Korean peninsula, playing an expanding role for peace and prosperity in the region and the world.    

Minister Ban's first overseas posting was in New Delhi, where he was able to acquire first-hand experience on development issues.

His chances at UN

Upside:The sixty-one-year-old diplomat is liked by the United States and China, which, as permanent members of the Security Council, have veto power over any candidate.

Also, Ban's prominent role in North Korea's six-party talks has raised his diplomatic profile at the right time.

Flipside:Some argue the nuclear talks are so important, the Security Council might prefer that he stay on the Korean Peninsula and see the negotiations through, without the distraction of the rest of the world's problems.

Plus, Asia isn't united behind Ban's bid; Southeast Asia wants one of its own to get the corner office.

Ban has nurtured longstanding ties with the United Nations, dating back to 1975 during his days as a staff member of the UN Division at home office.

The work expanded over the years with assignments as 1st Secretary at the Permanent Observer Mission of the ROK to the UN in New York, Director of the UN Division at headquarters, and Ambassador to Vienna, during which time he served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in 1999.  

The experience over the years provided a firm base for his instrumental role in the successful Presidency of the 56th session of the UN General Assembly held by the Republic of Korea, which opened on 12 September 2001. 

Minister Ban has long been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations. 

In 1992, then as Special Advisor to the Foreign Minister, he served as Vice Chair of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission, following the adoption by South and North Korea of the historic Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Korea)

Ban's UN plans

• To present a comprehensive convention against international terrorism

• To ensure that the work of the Peacebuilding Commission produces real value on the ground.

• To ensure UN's work in peacekeeping and complex emergencies should be more firmly grounded in humanitarian principles.

Achievements

For his exemplary service to his country, Ban was twice awarded the Order of Service Merit in 1975 and 1986. 

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 Blanco upon him. 

In September 2005, the Korea Society in New York honoured him with the Van Fleet Award for his contributions to the US-ROK friendship. 

In 2006, the Peruvian government bestowed upon Minister Ban the Gran Cruz del Sol (Great Cross of the Sun), Peru's highest Order of Diplomatic Service Merit.