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Remembering VISTA some 45 years ago, U.N. Chief greets TC Manager

On 23 February 2007, During his first visit as United Nations Secretary-General to Vienna, Mr. Ban Ki-moon received Mr. Karol Skornik, Regional Project Manager, Division for Africa, Department of Technical Cooperation.
 
For both men, who had first met as teenagers in the USA almost forty five years ago, this reunion rekindled an old friendship. Mr. Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Skornik had become acquainted in August 1962, during Operation VISTA, a short for Visit of International Students to America. The visit had been the culmination of an international youth contest in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the American Red Cross. As an outcome of the contest, more than 140 students from 42 countries had been selected to undertake a one-month sponsored tour of the USA that included meeting with President John F. Kennedy at the White House. While Mr. Ban Ki-moon had been one of the three representatives of the Republic of Korea on this tour, Mr. Skornik had been a member of the Polish delegation.

 In interviews given shortly after his election to the top post of the UN last year, Mr. Ban Ki-moon indicated to reporters that his experience with Operation VISTA at the age of 18 had made a long lasting impact on his outlook and future career. For Mr. Skornik, this programme had also been a major personal and professional milestone — he was 17 at the time.

Their reunion in Vienna provided the opportunity for Mr. Skornik to exchange memorabilia with the visiting UN Secretary-General and to brief him on the Technical Cooperation programme of the IAEA and the Regional programme for upgrading radiation protection infrastructure in Africa


Responsible/Contact: Department of Technical Cooperation | Last update: 13 Feb, 2013

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