1 June 2015

Secretary-General visits Republic of Korea for key education events

At the end of May, the Secretary-General undertook a trip to the Republic of Korea to attend a series of events, including those involving students.

While in the Republic of Korea, the Secretary-General attended a special ceremony at Ewha University where he received an honorary Doctorate Degree in Women's Studies. Speaking at the ceremony, the Secretary-General reiterated the fundamental importance of equality for women: "Respect for women is basic. Now we need true equality. This is not just a slogan. I am calling for a 50:50 gender equality by 2030. This is a rallying cry that we are prepared to back with action."

Opening the Academic Impact Forum, the Secretary-General called on youth to take action: "I am calling on young people to raise their voices for peace. I ask them often why don’t you challenge your leaders, your professors, your congressmen and CEOs. Make this world sustainable. This is the world I will have to leave. Make this situation sustainable. And I am insisting that governments start to listen to the world’s youth – including giving them a place at the negotiating table."

He also praised UN Academic Impact Korea for helping to launch the “Friends of UNAI” initiative at the UN to generate more support for the Academic Impact, noting that "the academic community is making important contributions to the United Nations push for sustainable development and a sustainable future."

At the end of his trip, the Secretary-General met with President Park Geun-hye and members of her cabinet, to discuss among other things the “critical importance” of making progress on the post-2015 agenda, climate change, development assistance funding, protection of refugees and migrants, and other key global issues, according to a readout released by the UN spokesperson’s office.

The Secretary-General also addressed the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity on its tenth anniversary in a video message.