BOSTON – The eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon visited the State House yesterday to discuss international trade and engagement with the new Joint Committee on Export Development, which aims to develop partnerships between the commonwealth and other nations and promote Massachusetts as a global economic leader.
A career diplomat and public servant, Ban served as secretary-general of the United Nations from 2007-2016. Highlights of his tenure include the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, advancing the Millennium Development Goals, and building diverse coalitions to address global challenges.
Ban has local roots as well. He graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School with a master’s in public administration in 1984 and currently serves as the Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Topics at the joint committee’s luncheon with Ban included climate change, the global economy, and international development. Ban was also recognized on the floor of the House of Representatives by Speaker Robert DeLeo. Senator Eileen Donoghue and Representative Lori Ehrlich, chairs of the export development committee, and Representative James Arciero, vice chair of the committee, were proud to welcome the former secretary general to the State House.
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has a lifetime of experience in building and nurturing successful global coalitions,” said Donoghue. “It is an honor and a privilege for the Joint Committee on Export Development to learn from him as we set out to strengthen our economy through new international partnerships.”
“It is an immense honor for the export committee to welcome His Excellency Ban Ki-moon to the State House as we begin our work,” Ehrlich said. “The former secretary-general’s advocacy for openness in an increasingly fractured world is firmly in line with our own values as a commonwealth that seeks to build bridges, not walls.”
“It was an honor to hear the views and insights of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as we develop strategies to increase Massachusetts exports in the global economy. His thoughts were greatly appreciated by the members of the committee,” said Arciero.
“I am honored to visit the Massachusetts State House at the invitation of Speaker DeLeo, Representative Ehrlich, and Senator Donoghue and to learn of the many issues that state legislators are working on in the interest of the citizens of the commonwealth,” Ban said.
The Joint Committee on Export Development is directed to consider all matters concerning the commonwealth’s exports, trade, and international competitiveness; cultivation and promotion of Massachusetts as a global economic leader; development of partnerships between the commonwealth and other states and nations related to trade and commerce; and support of Massachusetts goods and services in national and international markets.