Ban Ki-moon Fast Facts

Here’s a look at the life of Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations.

Personal
Birth date: June 13,1944

Birth place: Chunchongbuk-do Umsong, Republic of Korea

Birth name: Ban Ki-moon

Parents: Names unavailable publicly

Marriage: Yoo Soon-taek (1971-present)

Children: Hyun-hee, Woo-hyun and Seon-yong

Education: Seoul National University, B.A., 1970; Harvard University, M.A., 1985

Other Facts
Name is pronounced Bahn Gi-moon, with the K uttered as a hard “g.”

As a teen, he won a Red Cross-sponsored trip to the United States. He met President John F. Kennedy and decided then that he wanted to become a diplomat.

Timeline:
1970 Passes the South Korean Foreign Service exam.

1972-1974 Vice-consul, South Korean Consulate General in India

1974-1978 Second Secretary, South Korean Embassy in India.

1978-1980 – Secretary, South Korean Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations.

1987-1990 – Consul General, South Korean Embassy to the US in Washington, D.C.

1992-1995 Minister, South Korean Embassy to the US.

1996 National Security Adviser to South Korean President Kim Young-sam.

1998-2000 South Korean Ambassador to Austria.

1999 Chairman of the preparatory commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.

2001-2002 Chef de Cabinet during the South Korean presidency of the UN General Assembly.

2003 Foreign Policy Adviser to the South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.

January 2004 Appointed South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

February 14, 2006 Officially declares his candidacy for secretary-general.

October 9, 2006 Formally nominated by the United Nations Security Council to be the next secretary-general, replacing Kofi Annan.

October 13, 2006 Appointed by the UN General Assembly.

January 1, 2007-December 31, 2016 – Serves as the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations.

March 22, 2007 Makes an unannounced visit to Baghdad, Iraq to meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. During a live news conference with Maliki in Baghdad’s Green Zone, a rocket hits just outside the room, and Ban is visibly startled though unhurt.

January 20, 2009 – Tours the burned-out ruins of the UN compound in Gaza City which was destroyed by an Israeli bomb.

June 21, 2011 Ban is appointed to a second term as UN secretary-general, by acclamation.

December 9, 2011 Ban pays an unannounced visit to Mogadishu, Somalia, the first time a UN chief has visited Somalia in nearly 20 years.

April 30, 2012 Addresses Myanmar‘s Parliament, becoming the first foreigner to do so since military rule began in 1962.

August 29-31, 2012 – Visits Tehran, Iran, for the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.

January 2014 – Invites Iran to attend the Geneva Conference on Syria. The Syrian opposition threatens not to attend the meeting if Iran takes part. The Iranian invitation is withdrawn.

March 2014 – Meets with members of political parties in Kiev, Ukraine.

December 12, 2015 – 195 representatives at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) pledge to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Ban, who has made climate change one of his priorities, applauds the “Paris Agreement” and says “the work starts tomorrow.”

September 14, 2017 – Ban is elected Chair of the International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission.

February 20, 2018 – Ban is elected President of the Assembly and Chair of the Council of the Global Green Growth Institute.