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Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN

Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the United Nations


An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman and for his past engagement with the University.

An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman and for his past engagement with the University.

After the degree ceremony, His Excellency will give a Public Address on from 12-1pm, in the Fisher & Paykel Appliances Auditorium, Owen G. Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road.

The eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon first took office on 1 January 1 2007. He was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly in 2011, and will continue to serve until 31 December 2016.

Mr Ban was born in the Republic of Korea and 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.

At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr Ban was his country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His 37 years of service with the Ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C. and Vienna, and responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, Chief National Security Adviser to the President, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General of American Affairs.

As Secretary-General, Mr Ban’s priorities have been to mobilise world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy and water. He has sought to be a bridge-builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and to strengthen the Organisation itself.

One of the Secretary-General’s first major initiatives was the 2007 Climate Change Summit, followed by extensive diplomatic efforts that have helped put the issue at the forefront of the global agenda. Subsequent efforts to focus on the world’s main anti-poverty targets, the Millennium Development Goals, have generated more than $60 billion in pledges, with a special emphasis on Africa and the new Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health.

At the height of the food, energy and economic crises in 2008, the Secretary-General successfully appealed to the G20 for a $1 trillion financing package for developing countries and took other steps to guide the international response and protect the vulnerable and poor.

Mr Ban pressed successfully for the creation of UN Women, a major new agency that consolidates the UN’s work in this area. His advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality has also included the "Unite to End Violence against Women" campaign, the "Stop Rape Now" initiative, the creation of a "Network of Men Leaders" and the establishment of a new Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

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