Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to the International Peace Institute on its 40th anniversary, saying, “Time and again you have been a source of sound advice and state-of-the-art knowledge.
Speaking at a standing-room-only reception on June 16 at IPI’s Trygve Lie Center, Mr. Ban said that in his experience, turning 40 marked a significant moment of growth. “In the Chinese and Korean tradition, when you become 40 years old, we call it bulhok.” He explained, “That means you should have your own beliefs, that means you are mature enough. “
At 40, Mr. Ban said, “You become mature, and you are not easily convinced or swayed by other people. So you should stand on your own conviction. That is maturity.”
Of IPI, he said, “Your workshops, seminars and policy papers have brought us together in ways that have enriched and enabled our mission . At times, it seems as if you are an official part of the United Nations, but of course, it is precisely the unofficial nature of many of the discussions and roundtables that makes the IPI so valuable.”
Mr. Ban, who is IPI’s Honorary Chair, was introduced by IPI’s Chair, Rita Hauser, and IPI’s President Terje Rød-Larsen.
A transcript of their introductions and the Secretary-General’s remarks can be found below.