United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has chosen to visit the University of Birmingham to meet key figures including business leaders, leading academics and politicians from Birmingham and the West Midlands.
Speaking at a specially organised reception at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Mr Ban stressed the need for global co-operation in tackling major issues.
He also praised the city’s work in developing a green economy through the ‘Sustainable Birmingham Initiative’. This is an area to which the University is also committed. The development of sustainable energy, sustainable housing and cleaner fuel are all major research strengths at Birmingham.
Mr Ban succeeded Kofi Annan as the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 after a long career as a diplomat. In his work as Secretary General he has offered international leadership across a wide range of issues, including tackling climate change, human rights, regional security, and peacekeeping in the Sudanese region of Darfur.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor David Eastwood comments: “We are privileged to welcome the Secretary General to the University.
His visit reflects Birmingham’s position as a great global city and the important role that the University plays in the city’s heritage and future.
It is a particular pleasure to welcome the Secretary General of the UN, as Birmingham researchers play a crucial role in informing policy and debate on issues of security, global governance and ethics, elements that become more important in uncertain and turbulent times.”
Peace and international security is one of Mr Ban’s priorities as UN Secretary General and this also reflects some of the research being carried out at the University of Birmingham.
The University’s Centre for Studies in Security and Diplomacy focuses on democracy, democratic practice, good governance, and how to combine all these with security and the rule of law.
University of Birmingham’s Centre for the Study of Global Ethics - founded in 2001 was the first of its kind in the UK. It was set up to address the practical and theoretical issues raised by globalisation.