8th Secretary General of the United Nations
Ban Ki-moon is a South Korean politician and diplomat who served as the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations between 2007 and 2016. Prior to his appointment as secretary-general, Ban was the South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade between 2004 and 2006. Ban was initially considered to be a long shot for the office of Secretary-General of the United Nations; he began to campaign for the office in February 2006. As the foreign minister of South Korea, he was able to travel to all the countries on the United Nations Security Council, a maneuver that subsequently turned him into the campaign’s front runner.
On 13 October 2006, he was elected as the eighth secretary-general by the United Nations General Assembly. On 1 January 2007, he succeeded Kofi Annan. As secretary-general, he was responsible for several major reforms on peacekeeping and UN employment practices around the world. Diplomatically, Ban has taken particularly strong views on global warming, pressing the issue repeatedly with U.S. President George W. Bush, and on the Darfur conflict, where he helped persuade Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir to allow peacekeeping troops to enter Sudan. Ban was named the world’s 32nd most powerful person by the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People in 2013, the highest among South Koreans. In 2014, he was named the third most powerful South Korean after Lee Kun-hee and Lee Jae-yong. In 2016, Foreign Policy named Ban one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for his achievement of helping the Paris Agreement to be ratified and enforced less than a year after it was adopted.