ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL WRITES — A visit by the UN Secretary General is always a big event in Los Angeles. Arriving after world-wind visits to various international trouble spots, Mr and Mrs Ban Ki-moon made appearances at the home of TV legend Normal Lear (lunch Wednesday, 10 Aug.) and producer-director Brett Ratner (dinner that night). The next day, before heading to Los Angeles International Airport for the next leg of the arduous trip, Ki-moon and wife Soon-taek had breakfast at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina Del Rey with Asia Media International Editor-in-Chief Tom Plate and his wife Andrea, who works for the Veterans Administration in West Los Angeles.

The following is an excerpt from the Associated Press account of the Hollywood segment of the L.A> trip:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Hollywood to enlist its star power in the United Nation’s ambitious campaign to end poverty, tackle climate change and promote a fairer more humane world — and he got an enthusiastic response from stars and top executives.

The U.N. chief was feted at a lunch hosted by legendary television trailblazer Norman Lear and at a celebrity dinner for about 200 VIPs hosted by powerhouse producer-director Brett Ratner. He rubbed shoulders with Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Courtney Love, Sharon Stone and several studio chiefs.

Ban spoke at both events about the conflicts and crises in the world, the growth of terrorism, discrimination against women, gays and minorities, violations of human rights and poor governance — and the 17 U.N. goals adopted by world leaders last September to tackle the issues.

He said he could reach perhaps 2,000 people to try to galvanize global action to achieve the goals, but the stars and movie-makers could reach millions with the message.

“You are the people who can motivate, who can inspire, who can make people laugh, who can make people cry,” Ban said.

“I am here to ask your help. This world is in trouble. … A lot of people are dying,” he said. “I know with just one movie you earn a lot of money. But this time I’m urging you to work for humanity, work for this better world.”

At the lunch at Lear’s home, Ban urged media executives to raise public awareness of the goals in the U.N. campaign to end extreme poverty, achieve equality for women, fight discrimination and preserve the environment by the 2030 deadline.

“The message is the world better pay attention,” Lear said, adding that achieving the goals is critical for survival.


On Thursday morning, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, UN Secretary General Ban congratulated Professor Plate for his appointment to the pro bono position of Vice President of the Pacific Century Institute. PCI is headed by retired veteran diplomat Donald Gregg, who is PCI chairman and by former U.S. Ambassador to Korea Kathleen Stephens, who is PCI Vice Chairman. The appointment of Prof Plate is expected to advance cooperation between LMU’s Asia Media International and PCI, the Los Angeles-based non-profit focused on Track 2 efforts for peace in East Asia, especially on the Korean Peninsula.

This move toward further internationalization of the LMU curriculum, vision and profile comes on the heels of the university’s special agreement with the New York-based World Policy Institute to serve as its West Coast branch.  This effort is headed by Prof. Michael Genovese, director of LMU’s Institute for Leadership Studies.

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