CKS Logo
Menu Bar

Book Talk by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations

Book Talk by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations

Monday, June 28, 2021
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM (Pacific Time)

Live via Zoom

Register for Zoom Link Here


Introductions by Chancellor Gene Block. Event will be moderated by C. Cindy Fan, Vice Provost for International Studies & Global Engagement and Professor of Geography, and Michael Berry, Director of UCLA Center for Chinese Studies and Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies, Asian Languages & Cultures/Film, Television and Digital Media.


“Ban Ki-moon has had an extraordinary and inspirational life, not least given the extreme poverty in which he grew up. You admire his ambition, tenacity and patience in achieving global consensus for the incredibly important Sustainable Development Goals. But you also appreciate the golden thread that weaves its way through this book—his humanity. A true public servant, whose compassion shines throughout.” - Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Uniting Nations in a Divided World
Ban Ki-moon

Born just one year before the United Nations itself, Ban Ki-moon came of age with the world body. His earliest memories are haunted by the sound of bombs dropping on his Korean village and the sight of fires consuming what remained. The 6-year-old boy fled with his family, trudging for miles in mud-soaked shoes, suffering from incessant hunger, and wondering how they would survive—until the United Nations rescued them. Young Ki-moon grew up determined to repay this lifesaving generosity.

RESOLVED: United Nations in a Divided World (Columbia University Press/June 2021/$27.95) is Ban Ki-moon’s personal account of his decade at the helm of the organization during a period of historic turmoil and promise. Meeting challenges and resistance with a belief in the UN’s mission of peace, development and human rights, he steered the United Nations through a volatile period that included the Arab Spring, nuclear pursuits in Iran and North Korea, the Ebola epidemic, and brutal new conflicts in Central Africa. As Secretary General, Ban also forged global agreements to fight extreme poverty and address the climate crisis. Ban performed what has been called “the most impossible job on this earth” with a genuine belief in collective action and global transformation. Freed from the diplomatic constraints of a lifetime of public service, the Secretary General offers a candid assessment of the people and events that shape our era, and a bracing analysis of what lies ahead.

Ban Ki-moon is a South Korean diplomat and former foreign minister who served as the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 to December 2016. Throughout his career, Ban worked to mobilize international efforts against a slate of global pressures including the climate change, extreme poverty and armed conflict to make the world a safer and more equitable place. His motto: Mission Possible. Co-writer Betsy Pisik is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist based in New York.

Additional Praise:
“This is a warm, readable account by Ban Ki-moon of his 10-year term as UN Secretary General, and of his aim from the beginning to prioritize the climate crisis. At a time of increasing skepticism, his humble humanitarian concern and intense dedication should do much to restore confidence in the core values of the UN.” - Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chair of The Elders

“Can we not only imagine, but actually build a better world? A farsighted global statesman not only says yes—but shows us how.” - Graham Allison, author of Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies, Center for Korean Studies

Image for Calendar ButtonImage for Calendar Button