Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University

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December 12, 2012 - Shorenstein APARC News

Stanford talk by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

By Sarah L. Bhatia

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will present a free public talk at Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Ban, who is the eighth secretary-general of the UN, will speak about the UN's role in creating opportunities out of the challenges posed by today's rapidly transitioning world.

"Times of transition are times of profound opportunity," he recently said during his acceptance speech for the Seoul Peace Prize. "The decisions we make in this period will have an impact for generations to come.”

Ban's initiatives as UN secretary-general have focused on promoting sustainable development; empowering women; supporting countries in crisis or instability; generating new momentum on disarmament, arms control, and nonproliferation; and strengthening the UN. Among his many activities as secretary-general, he has successfully raised major pledges and financing packages for aid and crisis response, established the agency UN Women, and introduced new measures to promote UN transparency and efficiency.

"I grew up in war," Ban has said, "and saw the United Nations help my country to recover and rebuild. That experience was a big part of what led me to pursue a career in public service. As secretary-general, I am determined to see this organization deliver tangible, meaningful results that advance peace, development, and human rights."

Ban was born in the Republic of Korea in 1944, and he served for 37 years with the ROK Foreign Ministry, in roles including that of minister of foreign affairs and trade, foreign policy adviser to the president, and chief national security adviser to the president. He took office as UN secretary-general in January 2007, and was re-elected for a second term by the UN General Assembly in June 2011. Ban will serve as secretary-general until December 2016.

"We are deeply honored to have UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visit Stanford," said Gi-Wook Shin, a professor of sociology and director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC). "There are few people who understand global trends and dynamics more deeply than he does."

Ban's Jan. 17 talk will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Lagunita Drive. Tickets for the event, which are required for admission, will become available through the Stanford Ticket Office on Monday, Jan. 7.

Shorenstein APARC and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies are co-sponsoring the event. Ban's talk, part of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Forum, will kick off a series of activities commemorating Shorenstein APARC's thirtieth anniversary.

Founded in 2005, Shorenstein APARC's Asia-Pacific Leaders Forum regularly convenes senior leaders from across Asia and the Pacific to exchange ideas on current political, economic, and social dynamics in the region.

Topics: Institutions and Organizations | Sustainable development | Asia-Pacific