1. Explain the four major “entitlement programs” that provide “social insurance” under our social welfare program.  Your explanation should include the name of the program, a description, the beneficiaries and the funding for each of the programs.


2.     Briefly explain the following concerning Social Security:

A.      How Social Security works. (Edwards p. 576 plus interactive from class)

B.       The “financing” problem - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6935046/site/newsweek/

C.       Your choice and reasons from the proposals to solve the “financing” problem –


                Your typed response according to the above categories is due on Unit 2 test day - 2/25/09 (A) & 2/26/09 (B) 


  1. Explain the three major provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. (PRWORA)  Assess the success of this act concerning “welfare reform” and the “war on poverty”.


  1. Briefly explain the major policymakers in the National Security Council that assist the President in foreign policymaking.  Provide specifics from class and your text to support your answer.


  1. Briefly explain how the UN (United Nations) works.  Include in your explanation the six main parts and their function.  Also explain how the nuclear crisis with Iran illustrates both the strengths and weaknesses of the UN and the UN Security Council.


  1. Provide a brief overview of the key stages in American foreign policy beginning with the policy of Isolationism to the current policy of the War on Terrorism.  Include specifics from class and your text to support your answer.


  1. Explain the four areas involved in the "politics" of defense spending.  Give specifics from class and your text to support your answer.

8.  2002 AP Question 2:  Using the information in the figure above (Distribution of Government Benefits for Children and

     the Elderly, 1965-1986) and your knowledge of United States politics, complete the following tasks.

(a)    Describe what the figure above demonstrates about the distribution of government benefits over time.

(b)    Identify two politically relevant factors that have affected the changing distribution of government benefits

         between children and the elderly.

(c)    Explain how each of the two factors identified in (b) has affected the changing distribution of government benefits.







9.  2006 AP Question 2:  In recent decades, entitlement programs have constituted a substantial portion of the United States federal

     budget.  Social Security is the  largest entitlement program in the United States.  From the information in the chart above and your

     knowledge of United States government and politics, perform the following tasks.

a.        Define entitlement program

b.       What is the primary source of revenue for the Social Security program?

c.        Identify one threat to the future of the Social Security program should the trends depicted in the chart continue.

d.       Describe one demographic trend that threatens the future of the Social Security program and explain how it is

        responsible for the threat that you identified in (c).

e.        Explain how any one of the trends in the chart would change if the age of eligibility for Social Security were raised.










Alternative Plans for Social Security: How They Stack Up




Kyoto Treaty Takes Effect Today
Impact on Global Warming May Be Largely Symbolic

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 16, 2005; Page A04

The Kyoto treaty to reduce global warming goes into effect today after seven years of wrangling, harangues, and dramatic entrances and exits by Russia and the United States.

The global environmental movement calls it a historic victory, but critics in the industry and elsewhere say the bang could end in a whimper: Emissions of carbon dioxide will continue to rise, many of the cuts in greenhouse gases claimed under Kyoto probably would have happened anyway, and its future could be derailed by the stony opposition of the Bush administration.

Supporters acknowledge those realities but argue that the real impact of the treaty is not tangible.

"The greatest value is symbolic," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, an independent research and advocacy organization that works with many large companies interested in addressing the risks of global warming.

With the United States on the sidelines, the Kyoto treaty could end up as ineffectual as the post-World War I League of Nations. But by uniting the vast majority of the world's nations, Kyoto could equally be the harbinger of an international model that rewards pollution-cutting innovation and pushes countries and companies to pursue cleaner forms of growth.

The treaty is aimed at controlling global warming linked to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997. Although the United States helped shape it, President Bush pulled the United States out as soon as he took office.

The pact, ratified by 141 nations, limits emissions from 35 industrialized countries. Developing countries were exempted from limits to give them a chance to catch up with the economic development of the industrialized world.

Australia and the United States have refused to join. Bush administration officials said the treaty would hurt the economy and is ineffective and discriminatory because large, rapidly industrializing countries such as China and India escape the limits. Moreover, they say, many countries, including Japan and several in the European Union, are unlikely to meet their emission-control targets and will have to buy "credits" -- most likely from Russia, which will have plenty to sell because many of its industrial plants shut down during the economic meltdown in the 1990s.

"They are going to take credit for sagging economies and flat populations," said James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Bush's proposals for voluntary emission controls and incentives to develop clean technologies would have as much impact on American emissions as Europe would achieve under Kyoto, he said.

Claussen disputed Connaughton's claim. And Robert Donkers, an environment counselor for the European Union in Washington, said binding limits are needed for countries and companies to make the investments needed to cut emissions.

"It is not just the European Union versus the United States," he said. "This is Australia and the United States against the rest of the world."

Mountains of paper and oceans of ink have been expended debating Kyoto, but the ultimate fate of the treaty may be determined by what happens not within the Beltway but under the polar ice caps.

Global temperatures are indisputably rising -- and, while there are persistent skeptics, the vast majority of scientists say human activity is to blame.

Rising temperatures have already been linked to impacts on agriculture, coastal areas and public health. Melting ice caps could raise sea levels and inundate coastal areas, scientists say. Changes in ocean temperature could disrupt the Gulf Stream and make Europe much colder, said Annie Petsonk, international counsel at Environmental Defense, an advocacy organization. Tropical diseases such as malaria are spreading into new areas as a result of climate change in Africa, said Ken Newcombe, a senior manager at the World Bank, which has been setting up a system to help developing countries invest in clean technologies and sell credits to wealthy nations under the Kyoto accord.

It is no coincidence that as the treaty takes effect, a slew of bipartisan legislative proposals to control greenhouse gases are being introduced in Congress. And some states are taking matters into their own hands. California is demanding steep reductions in vehicle emissions. Several northeastern states are banding together to limit greenhouse emissions and set up the kind of trading system that could easily blend into the Kyoto model.

"Arizona is moving forward because they see droughts, wildfires," said Pew's Claussen. "North Carolina is considering a comprehensive policy because they are concerned about the barrier islands."

No one expects the Bush administration to change course, but dealing with a hodgepodge system might eventually prove more expensive to American industry than outright participation in a global system, said Robert W. Fri, a board member at American Electric Power Co., which burns more coal than any other utility in the United States.

The treaty's activation this week will intensify a debate in corporate boardrooms over the cost of doing nothing vs. the cost of doing something, said Fri, who formerly headed the environmental advocacy group Resources for the Future. He and Claussen said most American companies acknowledge -- at least in private -- that global controls on greenhouse gas emissions are inevitable. Farsighted companies, they said, want a seat at the bargaining table and are investing in cleaner technologies.

Both sides agree on one thing: The most contentious battles over controlling greenhouse emissions lie ahead.

Under the treaty, the European Union committed to reducing its emissions 8 percent below 1990 levels; Japan and Canada committed to a 6 percent cut; and Russia, whose entry three months ago provided the quorum needed to put the treaty into effect, committed to limit emissions right at 1990 levels. The United States would have had to limit emissions at 7 percent below 1990 levels, Petsonk said.

That would have been a prescription for disaster, said the White House's Connaughton, adding that it would have cost 5 million jobs and $400 billion annually. "The problem with Kyoto is it tried to reverse before we had put the brakes on and come to a stop," he said.

Connaughton and Frank Maisano, an energy lobbyist and former spokesman for a defunct industry coalition on climate change, said that rather than limit emissions, the United States should help spread clean technology in the developing world.

By 2010, said William O'Keefe, a former oil industry executive who now works at the Marshall Institute, an advocacy organization, developing countries will account for the bulk of greenhouse emissions. Maisano endorsed a recent proposal by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to develop and spread clean technology. Rather than set limits on emissions, the proposal seeks to set efficiency standards.

Environmentalists dispute Connaughton's estimate of the costs and say the administration is ignoring a fundamental reality: Improving efficiency, while necessary, will never suffice to lower greenhouse gas levels.

"You can't solve global warming by increasing emissions," said Jeremy Symons, manager of the global warming program at the National Wildlife Federation, an advocacy group. "That is what we are doing now. That is what President Bush is doing. You can't stop an environmental problem by increasing pollution."

The countries that ratified Kyoto believe that wealthy countries need to demonstrate a commitment to reducing emission levels in the first phase of the treaty, from 2008 to 2012, before the developing world can be asked to make cuts.

"You can't expect developing countries to waive their right to grow because the industrialized countries for the last 100 years have eaten all the cake," said Donkers of the European Union delegation in Washington.

Many environmentalists are getting behind a proposal by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) that would impose modest emission limits in the United States and establish a trading system analogous to Kyoto to give American companies a financial incentive to develop technologies that lower emissions.

McCain said Thursday that it is time to end the wrangling over global warming. If scientists are wrong about the catastrophic consequences of greenhouse gases, efforts to limit emissions would still result in cleaner air and a more competitive industrial base, he said.

"Given the high stakes involved -- the future of our children and our grandchildren, not to mention the future of the planet as we inherited it -- which approach are you willing to bet on?" he asked.



Watching the System

There are three layers to Medicare's system of oversight:

There are three layers to Medicares system of oversight: The Gatekeepers, the Enforcers and the Quality Judges


Location, Location, Location

Medicare spending varies widely from state to state, often even in neighboring Zip codes, after adjusting for regional differences in prices,
age or other population factors. Experts say that spending tends to be higher in areas where there are more doctors, more hospitals,
more technology and a culture that encourages more medical interventions. The chances that a patient will have certain surgeries, such
as an open-heart operation, also fluctuate with geography.

Medicare spending per beneficiary in regional health care markets


Signs of Trouble at Redding

The rate of heart surgeries at California's Redding Medical Center soared above the state average in the 1990s. Doctors at Redding allegedly ordered unnecessary diagnostic tests and operated on healthy patients.

Regulators found problems during a 1999 inspection, but no action was taken by Medicare. The regulators returned in 2002 and found that little had changed.


Medicare Through the Years

Since its inception, Medicare's mission has expanded as costs and the number of beneficiaries have soared.

Timeline with key events related to Medicare, alongside a graph showing Medicare beneficiaries and rising federal Medicare costs over time.





Social Security Around the World

As U.S. Considers Private Accounts, Experiences in Chile and Britain Provide Some Inspiration and Offer Cautionary Tales

As Congress considers including voluntary private accounts as part of Social Security, it will not be treading on virgin territory. More than a dozen nations have converted their traditional, government-financed pension systems to programs that are at least partially financed through personal accounts invested in the private sector. For a sense of how private accounts have worked overseas, The Washington Post has focused on two countries, Chile and Britain, whose experiences with private accounts have proved to be both a model and a cautionary tale for the Bush administration. In Chile, the switch to private accounts has given participants a sense of ownership of their retirement fortunes. However, many Chileans who transitioned out of the old system received inadequate pensions, leaving retirees dissatisfied and the government worried about its fiscal future. In Britain, surging management fees for private accounts turned into a political scandal, and many contributors were left worse off than if they had stayed with the state system. Bush administration officials have studied those experiences and the lessons learned have already influenced the White House's personal accounts proposal. And many experts warn that the fruits of personal accounts should not be overpromised. -Jonathan Weisman

Social Security Around the World



What is Most-Favored-Nation Treatment?

Although legislation has been enacted to replace the term "most-favored-nation" treatment in existing and future legislation with the term "normal trade relations" or another appropriate expression, the former term is still used in this issue brief for reasons of historical continuity and because of its continued universal use in international trade relations as well as in several U.S. bilateral trade treaties.

In international trade, the expression "most-favored-nation," usually abbreviated "MFN," status (or treatment) has a specific meaning quite at variance with what it appears to mean. While suggesting special and exclusive privileges granted to one country, it means in reality equal treatment of all countries. More precisely, it denotes the extension by a country of any concessions, privileges, or immunities granted, or yet to be granted, in a trade agreement to one country that is, or would be, the "most favored" in this respect, to all countries to which it accords MFN treatment. As a consequence, all countries to which a country extends MFN treatment are, or would be, treated equally by the extending country. Most-favored-nation treatment in fact means equal treatment, and the terms "most-favored-nation" and "nondiscriminatory" are often used interchangeably.

In practice, the principal benefit a country gains from being accorded MFN status by another country is that the latter's imports from the former are dutied at concessional (often referred to as "MFN", and listed in the tariff schedules as "General") rather than full rates. Thus, the extension of MFN treatment to a country can often mean a significantly lower cost and, hence, greater competitiveness of its products in the extending country's markets.

most-favored-nation clause




(MFN), provision in a commercial treaty binding the signatories to extend trading benefits equal to those accorded any third state. The clause ensures equal commercial opportunities, especially concerning import duties and freedom of investment. Generally reciprocal, in the late 19th and early 20th cent. unilateral MFN clauses were imposed on Asian nations by the more powerful Western countries (see Open Door). In the late 20th cent. tariff and trade agreements were negotiated simultaneously by all interested parties through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which ultimately resulted in the World Trade Organization. Such a wide exchange of concessions is intended to promote free trade, although there has been criticism of the principle of equal trading opportunities on the grounds that freer trade benefits the economically strongest countries. GATT members recognized in principle that the MFN rule should be relaxed to accommodate the needs of developing countries, and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (est. 1964) has sought to extend preferential treatment to the exports of the developing countries. Another challenge to the MFN principle has been posed by regional trading groups such as the European Union, which have lowered or eliminated tariffs among the members while maintaining tariff walls between member nations and the rest of the world. In the 1990s continued MFN status for China sparked U.S. controversy because of its sales of sensitive military technology and its use of prison labor, and its MFN status was only made permanent in 2000. All of the former Soviet states, including Russia, were granted MFN status in 1992.


Rio Treaty (Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance), signed Sept. 2, 1947, and originally ratified by all 21 American republics. Under the treaty, an armed attack or threat of aggression against a signatory nation, whether by a member nation or by some other power, will be considered an attack against all (see Pan-Americanism). The treaty provides that no member can use force without the unanimous consent of the other signatories, but that other measures against aggressors may be approved by a two-thirds majority. It differs from previous inter-American treaties in that it is a regional treaty within a larger international organization; it recognizes the higher authority of the Security Council of the United Nations.

Anzus Treaty , defense agreement signed in 1951 by Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The name Anzus is derived from the initials of the three signatory nations. As a result of the reestablishment of peace between Japan and the United States in 1951, Australia and New Zealand asked for a treaty making it clear that an attack on any of the three signatory countries would be considered an attack upon all. The pact became effective in 1952. New Zealand's 1985 refusal to allow U.S. nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships to enter its ports caused the United States to abrogate its ANZUS responsibilities toward New Zealand in 1986; however, New Zealand has not formally withdrawn from the alliance.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), established under the North Atlantic Treaty (Apr. 4, 1949) by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. Greece and Turkey entered the alliance in 1952, West Germany (now Germany) entered in 1955, and Spain joined in 1982. In 1999 the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined, and Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined five years later, bringing the membership to 26. NATO maintains headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The treaty, one of the major Western countermeasures against the threat of aggression by the Soviet Union during the cold war, was aimed at safeguarding the freedom of the North Atlantic community. Considering an armed attack on any member an attack against all, the treaty provided for collective self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The treaty was also designed to encourage political, economic, and social cooperation. The organization was reorganized and centralized in 1952.

In the 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Treaty Organization, NATO's role in world affairs changed, and U.S. forces in Europe were gradually reduced. Many East European nations sought NATO membership as a counterbalance to Russian power, but they, along with other European and Asian nations (including Russia), initially were offered only membership in the more limited Partnership for Peace,. formed in 1994. Twenty countries now belong to the partnership, which engages in joint military exercises with NATO. NATO is not required to defend Partnership for Peace nations from attack. In 2002, NATO and Russia established the NATO-Russia Council, through which Russia participates in NATO discussions on many nondefense issues.

NATO has increasingly concentrated on extending security and stability throughout Europe, and on peacekeeping efforts in Europe and elsewhere. NATO air forces were used under UN auspices in punitive attacks on Serb forces in Bosnia in 1994 and 1995, and the alliance's forces were subsequently used for peacekeeping operations in Bosnia. NATO again launched air attacks in Mar.–June, 1999, this time on Yugoslavia (now Serbia and Montenegro) following the breakdown of negotiations over Kosovo. In June, 1999, NATO was authorized by the United Nations to begin trying to restore order in the province, and NATO peacekeeping forces entered Kosovo. In Aug., 2003, NATO assumed command of the international security force in the Kabul area in Afghanistan, and in October a NATO rapid-response force was established. The membership of many NATO nations in the increasingly integrated European Union (EU) has led to tensions within NATO between the United States and those EU nations, particularly France and Germany, who want to develop an EU defense force, which necessarily would not include non-EU members of NATO.

NATO's highest organ, the North Atlantic Council, may meet on several levels—heads of government, ministers, or permanent representatives. The council determines policy and supervises the civilian and military agencies; NATO's secretary-general chairs the council. Under the council is the Military Committee, which may meet at the chiefs of staff or permanent representative level. Its headquarters in Washington, D.C., has representatives of the chiefs of staff of all member countries; France, however, withdrew from the Military Committee from 1966 to 1995 while remaining a member of the council.

NATO is now divided into two commands. Allied Command Operations is headed by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). SACEUR directs NATO forces and, in time of war, would control all land, sea, and air operations. Allied Command Transformation, with headquarters at Norfolk, Va., is responsible for making recommendations on the strategic transformation of NATO forces in the post-cold-war era.



Image:NATO expansion.png



There are currently 26 members within NATO (out of which 21 are EU members).





April 4, 1949

Flag of Belgium Belgium



Flag of Canada Canada


Flag of Denmark Denmark


Flag of France France

France withdrew from the integrated military command in 1966. From then it had remained solely a member of NATO's political structure. Its forces have not rejoined the military command.

Flag of Iceland Iceland

Iceland, the sole member that does not have its own standing army, joined on the condition that they would not be expected to establish one. However, it has a Coast Guard and has recently provided troops trained in Norway for NATO peacekeeping.

Flag of Italy Italy


Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg


Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands


Flag of Norway Norway


Flag of Portugal Portugal


Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom


Flag of the United States United States


18 February 1952

Flag of Greece Greece


Greece withdrew its forces from NATO’s military command structure from 1974 to 1980 as a result of Greco-Turkish tensions following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Flag of Turkey Turkey


9 May 1955

Flag of Germany Germany


(as West Germany; Saarland reunited with it in 1957 and the territory of the former German Democratic Republic reunited with it on 3 October 1990)

30 May 1982

Flag of Spain Spain



12 March 1999

Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic



Flag of Hungary Hungary


Flag of Poland Poland


29 March 2004

Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria



Flag of Estonia Estonia


Flag of Latvia Latvia


Flag of Lithuania Lithuania


Flag of Romania Romania


Flag of Slovakia Slovakia


Flag of Slovenia Slovenia







1.A - The General Assembly

All UN Member States are represented in the General Assembly — a "parliament of nations" which meets regularly and in special sessions to consider the world's most pressing problems. Each Member State has one vote. Decisions on such key issues as international peace and security, admitting new members and the UN budget are decided by two-thirds majority. Other matters are decided by simple majority. In recent years, a special effort has been made to reach decisions through consensus, rather than by taking a formal vote. The Assembly cannot force action by any State, but its recommendations are an important indication of world opinion and represent the moral authority of the community of nations.

The General Assembly in sessionDuring the main part of its 2004 session, the Assembly took up more than 150 different topics, including United Nations reform, restoring respect for the rule of law, the needs of small island developing States, climate change and related humanitarian dangers, and participation by all States in the global trading system. It addressed the situation in many different countries and regions, including Iraq and the Darfur region of the Sudan.

The centrepiece of the Assembly’s 60th anniversary session, in 2005, is a five-year review by world leaders of its 2000 Millennium Declaration, including action on a comprehensive set of recommendations submitted by the Secretary-General to reduce poverty, address security threats, stem human rights abuses, and approve major changes to strengthen the functioning of the United Nations.

The Assembly holds its annual regular session from September to December. When necessary, it may resume its session or hold a special or emergency session on subjects of particular concern. Its work is also carried out by its six Main Committees, other subsidiary bodies and the UN Secretariat.


1.B - The Security Council

The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council may convene at any time, whenever peace is threatened. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to carry out the Council's decisions.

There are 15 Council members. Five of these — China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States — are permanent members. The other 10 are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Member States continue to discuss changes in Council membership and working methods to reflect today's political and economic realities.

Decisions of the Council require nine yes votes. Except in votes on procedural questions, a decision cannot be taken if there is a no vote, or veto, by a permanent member.

The Security Council has established some 60 peacekeeping operations. Here, members of the force in Cyprus help load humanitarian supplies for victimes of the devastating 2004 tsunami in South Asia.When the Council considers a threat to international peace, it first explores ways to settle the dispute peacefully. It may suggest principles for a settlement or undertake mediation. In the event of fighting, the Council tries to secure a ceasefire. It may send a peacekeeping mission to help the parties maintain the truce and to keep opposing forces apart.

The Council can take measures to enforce its decisions. It can impose economic sanctions or order an arms embargo. On rare occasions, the Council has authorized Member States to use "all necessary means," including collective military action, to see that its decisions are carried out.

The Council also makes recommendations to the General Assembly on the appointment of a new Secretary-General and on the admission of new Members to the UN.


1.C - The Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council, under the overall authority of the General Assembly, coordinates the economic and social work of the United Nations and the UN family of organizations. As the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and for formulating policy recommendations, the Council plays a key role in fostering international cooperation for development. It also consults with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), thereby maintaining a vital link between the United Nations and civil society.

The Council has 54 members, elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms. It meets throughout the year and holds a major session in July, during which a high-level meeting of Ministers discusses major economic, social and humanitarian issues.

The Council's subsidiary bodies meet regularly and report back to it. The Commission on Human Rights, for example, monitors the observance of human rights throughout the world. Other bodies focus on such issues as social development, the status of women, crime prevention, narcotic drugs and sustainable development. Five regional commissions promote economic development and cooperation in their respective regions.


1.D - The Trusteeship Council

The Trusteeship Council was established to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories administered by seven Member States and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government or independence. By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government or independence, either as separate States or by joining neighbouring independent countries. The last to do so was the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands — Palau — which was administered by the United States and became the 185th UN Member State.

Its work completed, the Trusteeship Council now consists of the five permanent members of the Security Council. It has amended its rules of procedure to allow it to meet as and when the occasion may require.

1.E - The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is the main judicial organ of the UN. Its 15 judges are elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council, voting independently and concurrently. The Court decides disputes between countries, based on the voluntary participation of the States concerned. If a State agrees to participate in a proceeding, it is obligated to comply with the Court's decision. The Court also gives advisory opinions to the United Nations and its specialized agencies.


1.F - The Secretariat

The Secretariat carries out the substantive and administrative work of the United Nations as directed by the General Assembly, the Security Council and the other organs. At its head is the Secretary-General, who provides overall administrative guidance.

The Secretariat consists of departments and offices with a total staff of about 7,500 under the regular budget, drawn from some 170 countries. Duty stations include UN Headquarters in New York, as well as UN offices in Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi and other locations.

Official portrait of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Click photo to enlarge.BAN KI-MOON

Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, brings to his post 37 years of service both in government and on the global stage.

Career highlights

At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban was his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His long tenure with the ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C. and Vienna, and responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Advisor to the President, Chief National Security Advisor to the President, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General of American Affairs. Throughout this service, his guiding vision was that of a peaceful Korean peninsula, playing an expanding role for peace and prosperity in the region and the wider world.

Mr. Ban has longstanding ties with the United Nations, dating back to 1975, when he worked for the Foreign Ministry’s United Nations division. That work expanded over the years, with assignments as First Secretary at the ROK’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, Director of the UN Division at the ministry’s headquarters in Seoul, and Ambassador to Vienna, during which time, in 1999, he served as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization. In 2001-2002, as Chef-de-Cabinet during the ROK’s Presidency of the General Assembly, he facilitated the prompt adoption of the first resolution of the session, condemning the terrorist attacks of 11 September, and undertook a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Assembly’s functioning, thereby helping to turn a session that started out in crisis and confusion into one in which a number of important reforms were adopted.

Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations. In 1992, as Special Advisor to the Foreign Minister, he served as Vice Chair of the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission following the adoption of the historic Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In September 2005, as Foreign Minister, he played a leading role in bringing about another landmark agreement aimed at promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula with the adoption at the Six Party Talks of the Joint Statement on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.


Mr. Ban received a bachelor's degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. In1985, he earned a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Prizes and awards

Mr. Ban has received numerous national and international prizes, medals and honours. In 1975, 1986 and again in 2006, he was awarded the ROK’s Highest Order of Service Merit for service to his country.


Mr. Ban was born on 13 June 1944. He and his wife, Madam Yoo (Ban) Soon-taek, whom he met in high school in 1962, have one son and two daughters. In addition to Korean, Mr. Ban speaks English and French.


1.G - The UN System

The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and 13 other independent organizations known as "specialized agencies" are linked to the UN through cooperative agreements. These agencies, among them the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, are autonomous bodies created by intergovernmental agreement. They have wide-ranging international responsibilities in the economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related fields. Some of them, like the International Labour Organization and the Universal Postal Union, are older than the UN itself.

In addition, a number of UN offices, programmes and funds — such as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) — work to improve the economic and social condition of people around the world. They report to the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council.

All these organizations have their own governing bodies, budgets and secretariats. Together with the United Nations, they are known as the UN family, or the UN system. Together, they provide technical assistance and other forms of practical help in virtually all economic and social areas.



From Afghanistan to Cyberspace