John Murray is publishing a memoir by the former secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.
Joseph Zigmond, senior commissioning editor at John Murray, acquired world rights to the autobiography from Susanna Nicklin at The Marsh Agency Ltd on behalf of Jennifer Lyons at The Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.
Provisionally entitled Conflict Resolution: Lessons from Uniting Nations in a Divided World, the book will be published in the UK in the first half of 2019.
According to JMP, it will cover the “physical danger, political pressure and financial threats” of the job as Ban recounts his experiences of confronting dictators, championing human rights defenders, enlisting celebrity activists and joining forces with faith leaders.
“This memoir of a lifetime’s dedication to diffusing human dramas will be essential reading for politicos, a fascinating insight into the character of world leaders, a classic look at the world of high-stakes negotiation, and a how-to guide for activists everywhere,” said Zigmond. “It explores Ban’s transformation from a nameless refugee child of a vicious war to a global diplomat charged with helping millions of others in similar straights. Along the way, he shares revelations about major figures of recent history. Tense confrontations with Obama, Ahmadinejad, Hillary Clinton, Qaddafi, Sarkozy and Netanyahu litter each page.
“There will also be much to inspire readers in search of a progressive voice as they follow the journey of a man who was born into a largely homogenous society but grew to defend diversity, standing strong for equality regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality and – in a first for a UN leader – sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Ban said he hoped the book would stand as testament to the value of the UN and its work.
“I look forward to recounting my experience not as the tale of an individual who attained stature but as proof that any individual, no matter how poor or disenfranchised they may have been at the start of their life, can succeed with international solidarity," he said. "As such, I hope my story will stand as proof of the enduring value of the United Nations, which – despite its well-known shortcomings – is essential to securing our common future.”