KATRINA CROSBY WRITES – With so much tragedy occurring in the world, it is always refreshing to see some good news, especially if it involves the recognition of a political visionary who has gone above and beyond to share knowledge and on international development. This year, the Asia Foundation invited former United Nations Secretary General and South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon to accept the Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Leadership Award.
The Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Leadership Award stems from Dr. Chang-Lin Tien, himself — a famous Chinese American professor who became the chancellor and educator at the University of California, Berkeley. His work with engineering and thermal science brought worldwide recognition, as did his efforts on behalf of social justice. The award reflects Dr. Tien’s luminous international presence and work with the Asia Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The award was presented by Dr. Norman Tien, Dr. Chang-Lin Tien’s son, to former Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with a full audience of VIPs and Asia Foundation members cheering in his honor. Ban worked assiduously for ten years at the United Nations to help bring about steady progress through the Paris Climate Accords, Sustainable Development Goals, and the creation of the United Nations sub-unit, UN Women. He fought persistently to improve the conditions for women and children on an international scale.
Upon his acceptance at the Asia Foundation’s Sept. 11 program “Leaders on the Frontlines: Asia’s Leaders of Today and Tomorrow.”, Secretary Ban Ki-moon spoke about his own time in office, the importance of collaboration, and hope for future leaders to continue acting as global citizens. He ended by commenting on The Asia Foundation’s role in empowerment of developing communities: “These impactful efforts will secure better outcomes for Asia and our world.”
This is not the first time Ban Ki-moon has been recognized for his efforts. Previously, he received the James A. Van Fleet award with his promotion of the Korean and United States’ relationship, the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, and the Order of Friendship in Kazakhstan. With this being said, Ban Ki-moon’s acceptance of the Asia Foundation award is especially noteworthy as it spotlights the value of global peace and the initiatives that are needed more than ever these days. The former Secretary-General emphasized that it takes a group effort to affect change on a global scale, “There’s not a single country or single individual, however powerful and however resourceful, that can do it alone.”
Pictured: Ban Ki-moon with former LMU students Lamiya Shabbir and Sabrina Verduzco taken during the UNSG’s special visit to this university in 2016.