Seton Hall University
Ban Ki-moon Visits SHU

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Appeals to Students

By Linda Karten  

The 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 in 2010.

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.” 

Ban Ki-moon Receives Honorary Degree“I receive this degree as a testament to the close ties between the United Nations and Seton Hall and the School of Diplomacy in particular.”

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at Seton Hall on November 22, 2010

He called on his audience to think globally and act collectively, saying, “You…are not spectators. You are a crucial part of this history… I appeal to you. Keep working with us, keep pushing us, keep inspiring us. Help shape the world. Help us to deliver what the world needs at this crucial moment.” 

"One of the greatest aspects of the visit of the Secretary-General,” remarked School of Diplomacy 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." 

School of Diplomacy 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, Former Dean of the School of Diplomacy, called the event a “momentous and historic occasion.”

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