Remarks of Governor Michael Dukakis, Chairman of the Boston Global Forum
Loeb House, Harvard University, December 12, 2016
I am pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Boston Global Forum’s World Leader for Peace, Security and Development Award is Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.
Ban Ki-Moon was South Korea’s foreign minister before becoming UN General Secretary in 2007. Two decades earlier, he received a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School, where he studied under our good friend Joe Nye, a member of the Boston Global Forum’s Board of Thinkers. At the time of Ban Ki-Moon’s selection as Secretary General, Joe recalled that Ban, as a student, had displayed “a rare combination of analytic clarity, humility and perseverance.”
In his two terms as Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon has exerted exemplary leadership on a wide range of issues, from LGBT rights to conflicts in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He has stood up for those displaced by war and those persecuted for nothing more than being who they are.
Cybersecurity has been a top concern. He has convened expert panels to develop best practices, which have contributed to progress on cyber security, including helping to foster a bilateral cyber security agreement between the United States and China last year.
The Secretary General has led the UN’s efforts to promote global citizenship education, of which the Boston Global Forum is now officially involved. He sees education as a basic right of all children, one that must foster respect for what he calls “our shared humanity.”
He has tirelessly pressed nations to deal with the threat of climate change. Three months ago he announced that a threshold had been passed to bring into force the Paris Climate Change Agreement, saying “When this year ends, I hope we can all look back with pride, knowing that, together, we seized the opportunity to act for the common good, for a sustainable future and the protection of our common home.”
In less than a month, Ban Ki-Moon will step down as Secretary General, leaving behind a distinguished record that we honor today through our World Leader for Peace, Security and Development Award.