U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Appeals to Students
By Linda Karten
This fall, the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, in partnership with the United Nations Association of the USA and the UN Foundation, had the honor of welcoming United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Seton Hall as part of its World Leaders Forum speaker series.
More than 1,100 current and prospective students, alumni, faculty and guests from the University community gathered at Walsh Gymnasium to attend this important event. In his remarks, Mr. Ban named climate change, the fight against poverty and human security as the top three challenges facing the global community today.
“Can the United Nations deliver what the world needs?” he asked his audience. Mr. Ban said that change would come gradually with “patience and determination.” He noted that the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen “did not meet every expectation of the world, but we made progress.”
“I receive this degree as a testament to the close ties between the United Nations and Seton Hall and the Whitehead School in particular.”
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at Seton Hall on November 22, 2010
"One of the greatest aspects of the visit of the Secretary-General,” remarked Whitehead School graduate student Kathryn Salucka, “was the opportunity to speak with him in a more intimate setting after his talk, in which he spoke very candidly about some of the salient issues facing the United Nations today, and directly answered questions from the students."
Whitehead School undergraduate student Kelsey Coolidge commented that the visit by the Secretary-General gave her a rare opportunity to meet a world leader and that Mr. Ban's identification of climate change as one of the world's greatest security challenges struck a chord with her. “It was inspiring to see that the importance of this subject is recognized by the United Nations and is currently being addressed on the global agenda. Read more of Kelsey's reflections on the Ban Ki-moon event.
Prior to his address, Mr. Ban received an honorary degree from Seton Hall's Interim President Gabriel Esteban. Mr. Ban also took questions from students and later attended receptions with alumni and special guests. Ambassador John Menzies, Dean of the Whitehead School, called the event a “momentous and historic occasion.”