UN Secretary-General Comes to Aggieland

By: Texas A&M University Press Release Email
By: Texas A&M University Press Release Email

George Bush, 41st President of the United States, will host His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for the William Waldo Cameron Forum on Public Affairs.

The program is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at the George Bush Presidential Library Center at Texas A&M University.

The William Waldo Cameron Forum on Public Affairs was established by an endowment to the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation from Flora Cameron Crichton as a memorial to her father. It includes two lectures each year and is sponsored by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

Mr. Ban is the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations and brings 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 serving as the Republic of Korea's (ROK) Minister of Foreign Affairs.

His long tenure with the ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington, D.C. and Vienna and responsibility for a variety of portfolios including Foreign Policy Advisor to the President, Chief National Security Advisor to the President, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General of American Affairs.

Throughout this service, his guiding vision was that of a peaceful Korean peninsula, playing an expanding role for peace and prosperity in the region and the wider world. Mr. Ban has long-standing ties with the United Nations dating back to 1975 when he worked for the ROK Foreign Ministry's United Nations division. That work expanded over the years, with assignments as First Secretary at the ROK's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, Director of the UN Division at the ministry's headquarters in Seoul, and Ambassador to Vienna, during which time he served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization in 1999.

In 2001-2002, as Chef-de-Cabinet during the ROK's Presidency of the General Assembly, he facilitated the prompt adoption of the first resolution of the session which condemned the terrorist attacks of September 11.

Mr. Ban also undertook a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Assembly's functioning, thereby helping to turn a session that started out in crisis and confusion into one in which a number of important reforms were adopted.

Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations. In 1992, as Special Advisor 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. He has received numerous national and international prizes, medals, and honors. In 1975, 1986, and again in 2006, he was awarded the ROK's Highest Order of Service Merit for service to his country.

Mr. Ban was born on June 13, 1944. He and his wife, Madam Yoo (Ban) Soon-taek, whom he met in high school in 1962, have one son and two daughters. Mr. Ban also speaks English and French.

The Cameron Forum is a ticketed event. Attendees are requested not to bring backpacks, bags, cameras or other personal belongings to the program.

Free tickets are available at the Bryan-College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau, KBTX-TV, WTAW, The Bryan/College Station Eagle, the Texas A&M University MSC Box Office, and the Museum at the George Bush Presidential Library.


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