On Wednesday, 21 December, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, visited the United States State of Illinois.
His first stop was Carbondale, where he visited the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University and then gave a lecture at the university’s main campus.
In his speech, the Secretary-General paid tribute to the legacy of Paul Simon, who served as a United States Congressman and Senator, noting how he helped to advance global cooperation in addressing water challenges.
With only 10 days left in his tenure, the Secretary-General emphasized that the United Nations will count on the United States and all countries to pull together at this consequential time for peace, prosperity and human rights for all. (See Press Release SG/SM/18301.)
The Secretary-General also took questions from students and others on a range of topics, including the Security Council and the situation in Syria.
Following a lunch and reception hosted by the university, the Secretary-General flew to Springfield, the capital of Illinois. He visited the tomb of President Abraham Lincoln, rubbing the nose of the former United States leader’s bust for luck.
The Secretary-General then toured the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, where he saw an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution outlawing slavery.
After attending a reception with museum officials, the Secretary-General returned to New York in the evening.