The Leaderboard: Oh Joon

The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific.Who is he?

Oh Joon will be elected as president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Friday, July 24, 2015 for a one-year term. Concurrently, he is the Republic of Korea (ROK)’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations. He also serves as the president of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Previously, he served as Ambassador of ROK to Singapore from 2010-2013.

Ambassador Oh Joon.

Ambassador Oh Joon of South Korea. Source: ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, public domain.

Why has he been in the news?

Ambassador Oh’s appointment as the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s new president was announced by the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 22, 2015. He will be the first South Korean to head ECOSOC, which is one of the six major bodies of the UN.

ECOSOC serves as the main forum for discussing international economic and social issues, formulating policy dialogue and recommendations, and implementing development goals. Key functions of ECOSOC includes holding Annual Ministerial Reviews  and a biennial Development Cooperation Forum in order to assess progress made and enhance coherence.

What can we expect from him?

Ambassador Oh brings a wealth of experience and familiarity to the table. In the beginning of his career, he served as second secretary of ROK’s permanent observer mission at the UN headquarters in New York from 1985-1988. He has also served as deputy ROK permanent representative to the UN from 2005 to 2007 and as chairman of the UN General Assembly’s Disarmament Commission from 2006-2007.

Ambassador Oh’s role as president of ECOSOC is expected to help South Korea play a greater part in fighting against poverty and in the field of sustainable development.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *