Ban Ki-Moon bän gē-mo͞on [key], 1944–, South Korean diplomat, secretary-general of the United Nations (2007–16), b. Chungju, grad. Seoul National Univ. (B.S., 1970), Kennedy School of Government, Harvard (M.P.A., 1985). A career diplomat, Ban held a series of posts in the South Korean foreign ministry and in its embassies abroad, including ambassador to Austria (1998–2000) and to the United Nations (2001–2) and minister of foreign affairs and trade (2004–6). In 2006 he was elected to succeed Kofi Annan as UN secretary-general; he was reelected in 2011. Ban continued his predecessors' efforts to modernize and restructure the UN administration. Although less of an activist than Annan, he consistently pursued throughout his two terms a broader and more effective international agreement on climate change, which ultimately culminated in the 2015 accord that was signed in Paris by 175 nations (see global warming). Efforts at peacekeeping and protecting civilians from armed conflicts proved generally more difficult during his tenure, and were in some cases (Syria, E Ukraine) stymied by tensions on the Security Council between Russian and the West. António Guterres succeeded Ban as UN secretary-general.
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