About Ban Ki-Moon
Ban Ki-Moon is currently serving as Secretary-General of the UN. He assumed office in January of 2007, and he was unanimously re-elected on June 21, 2011. Ban Ki-Moon is known for his dedication to solving many of the world’s most prominent challenges, including pandemics, economic upheaval, climate change and strains on global supplies of water, energy and food.
Ban was born in June of 1944, in the Republic of Korea. He earned a four-year degree from Seoul National University with a focus in international relations. He also earned a master’s degree from Harvard University in 1985. Prior to being elected Secretary-General, he was serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the Republic of Korea. During his time in the Ministry, he was posted in Vienna, Washington D.C. and New Delhi.
Ban’s ties to the UN began in 1975, when he began working for the Foreign Ministry’s UN division. His work with the UN expanded as time progressed, and he eventually served as the Chef de Cabinet and the Chairman of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s Preparatory Commission Chairman.
The Secretary-General speaks Korean, French and English. He is married to a woman he met in high school, Madam Yoo (Ban) Soon-taek. Together, they have two daughters, one son and three grandchildren.
Visit to Cuba and Guayabera Shirt
Ban Ki-Moon’s recent trip to Cuba was his first official visit to this nation. During his trip, he met with several key policymakers, including vice president of the Council of Ministers Marino Murillo Jorge. He also participated in the Second Summit of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States). Ban acknowledged Cuba’s efforts to spark social and economic changes, and he reiterated the need for collaboration between Cuba and the UN.
The guayabera shirt worn by Ban Ki-Moon during his trip is a common clothing choice among men in the Caribbean and Latin America. The guayabera is recognizable because of its two vertical stripes of embroidery and four front pockets. Historical evidence suggests that the shirt originated in Cuba in the 18th century. Ban Ki-Moon’s willingness to wear this shirt during his trip demonstrates his respect for the Cuban culture and his dedication to promoting harmony between Cuba and the UN.