Madrid: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations from 2007 to 2017, has been awarded the IE University medal in recognition of his leadership in advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda, as well as for his contribution to global peace and security during his tenure. Following the medal ceremony, held at IE Tower, IE University’s new technological and sustainable headquarters in Madrid, Ban Ki-moon discussed the challenges of global governance with Susana Malcorra, Senior Advisor at IE University and a former Argentinean Foreign Affairs Minister. The ceremony was presided by IE University President Santiago Iñiguez, who presented the medal to the former UN Secretary in the company of IE University’s Provost and Dean of the School of Global Public Affairs, Manuel Muñiz.
“It is my great privilege to stand before you this evening and humbly accept the IE University Medal. I’m incredibly grateful for this honor, we stand on the precipice of a period of great change, one that will have profound implications for young people, our planet, and the future of humanity. Harness your vision, studies, and future work to prioritize global action. Think beyond yourselves and national borders. We need to ensure that the UN’s Global Goals are local business; in Madrid, the EU, and beyond”, Ban Ki-moon highlighted. “This is a pivotal year, and decade, for humanity and our planet. I have no doubt that you can seize this historic opportunity and illuminate a path to this vibrant future—one that is sustainable, inclusive, and peaceful for all”, he added.
“It is always a pleasure to recognize the work of leaders like Ban Ki-moon,” said Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño. He added: “Awarding IE University’s medal to Ban Ki-moon also represents our commitment to sustainability and to developing innovative and responsible leaders who make a positive impact on the lives of people, businesses and society. Sustainability is undoubtedly one of the pillars of IE University and forms part of the curriculum of our educational model, with the goal of our students making a positive impact on the environmental, social and economic challenges facing humanity.”
“Secretary General Ban is a transformational leader, dedicating his life to leaving behind a better world for future generations. In his focus on reducing global poverty levels, he launched the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our planetary compass to change course and try to save the planet while promoting a prosperous future to those who suffer”, said Manuel Muñiz. “Under his mandate, the United Nations embodied the values he always stood for, which are the same values that we embody here at IE University. That is why we collaborate so closely with the UN in several of our programs, like our Bachelor in International Relations and our Master in International Development. That is also why sustainability and respect for the planet permeates all our activities at IE University”, Muñiz added.
Ban Ki-moon began his tenure at the United Nations in 2007 after nearly four decades in the service of the South Korean government, heading key ministries such as foreign affairs and trade, along with international assignments in New Delhi, Washington, and Vienna. He was advisor to the president of the South Korean government on foreign policy and national security issues, vice minister of policy planning, and director general of US affairs. Throughout his career, Ban Ki-moon was guided by the vision of a peaceful Korean Peninsula playing an increasingly important role in spreading peace and prosperity in the region and the world.
The former UN secretary general has also been active on inter-Korean relations issues. In 1992, as a special advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he served as vice-chairman of the South-North Joint Commission on Nuclear Arms Control, following the adoption of the historic Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In September 2005, as foreign minister, he played a leading role in the conclusion of another historic agreement aimed at promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, when the Six-Party Talks adopted the joint statement on the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.