Past Presidents

56th Session: Dr. Han Seung-soo

Portrait of Mr. Dr. Han Seung-soo, President of the United Nations General Assembly’s 56th session. UN Photo

Dr. Han Seung-soo was elected President of the United Nations General Assembly’s 56th session on 12 September 2001. At the time of his election, he was serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea.

Dr. Han Seung-soo presided the General Assembly’s 56th session from 12 September 2001 to 9 September 2002.

On 13 September 2001, the General Assembly elected 21 Vice-Presidents for the 56th session:


At the opening of the 56th session of the General Assembly, President Han Seung-soo said mere words could not express the outrage and disgust all felt at the heinous acts of terrorism perpetrated the day before (Septemer 11) against the Organization’s host country. He went on to say that this year’s presidency would continue ongoing initiatives to improve the Assembly’s working methods. It would also move forward the discussions on Security Council reform. In addition, the Assembly would emphasize the strengthening of the Organization’s capacity to maintain peace and security.

Dealing with terrorism was a priority, he said, as were promotion of democracy and strengthening the rule of law, protecting the vulnerable and ensuring that the benefits of globalization devolved to all, especially through steps to bridge the digital divide with information technologies. Finally, his presidency would emphasize the consideration of ways to bring Africa into the mainstream, through poverty eradication and the generation of sustainable development.

Statements and Messages

September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001


  • H.E. Dr. Han Seung-soo, President PDF
  • H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Chef de Cabinet
  • Mr. Oh Joon, Minister-Counsellor
  • Mr. Moon Hayong, Minister-Counsellor
  • Mr. Kim Bong Hyun, Counsellor
  • Mr. Yoon Yeocheol, First Secretary
  • Mr. Jan Fischer, Spokesperson
  • Mr. William Overmoe, Speech writer
  • Ms. Yonsoo Kim, Assistant to the Spokesperson
  • Ms. Yoon-kyoung Choi, Personal Secretary to the President
  • Ms. Eun Ha Kim, Administrative Assistant
  • Ms. Antoinette Schemeelk, Secretary
  • Mr. Marvin Rey Cardenas, Secretary
  • Ms. Jae-Young Kim, Research Assistant
  • Mr. Eugene Young Yoon, Research Assistant

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