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Politician and alumnus to lecture at York

Posted on 16 September 2013

A former Prime Minister of South Korea, who is an alumnus, will return to the University of York this week to deliver the annual Vice-Chancellor's Lecture.

Politician and diplomat, Dr Han Seung-soo, will give the lecture titled ‘Air and Water: Are They Free Goods?’ on 16 September in the Bowland Auditorium in the Berrick Saul building on the University’s Heslington campus.

Dr Han was Prime Minister of South Korea from 29 February 2008 to 28 September 2009, and was the President of the 56th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in 2001 and 2002. He is a member of the Club de Madrid, a group of more than 80 former Presidents and Prime Ministers of democratic countries, which works to strengthen democratic leadership and governance worldwide.

Dr Han was educated at Yonsei University and Seoul National University before completing his doctorate in economics at York in 1968. His lecture will draw on his involvement in the international community's efforts to address global challenges including climate change and water.

Dr Han says: “Clean air and water are the rapidly diminishing 'global commons'. Unfortunately, they are rapidly disappearing and scarcer by the day. As a consequence, the very foundations necessary for humankind's survival are being threatened.”

First elected to the National Assembly in 1988, he was ambassador to the United States from 1993 to 1994, and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister from 1996 to 1997.

In April 2001, Dr Han was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and elected the President of the 56th session of the United Nations General Assembly later that year.

In 2002, he resigned his UN post and as Foreign Minister to re-enter politics. He was elected a member of the Korean National Assembly. In 2004, he was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II and, three years later, was appointed to serve as a Special Envoy on Climate Change for the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The lecture is now fully-booked.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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