Erik de Ridder of South Africa has been selected as Secretary General of the United Nations. Mr. de Ridder is presently completing his undergraduate studies in engineering and economics at the University of Cape Town. He has pursued complementary studies in globalisation and statistical science.
Mr. de Ridder has had exposure to United Nations-level theoretically through his studies of globalisation, history, development and global governance and practically through exposures that involved international diplomats, members of the South African Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, senior staff from the US Africa Development Foundation and USAID as well as the World Bank.
His extracurricular activities have focused on promoting social unity, political activism, environmentalism, and social outreach. He is a One Young World Ambassador, an alumnus of the South Africa-Washington International Programme, a co-founder of the African Student Leaders’ Summit 2010 and the BlueBuck Network, an international student coalition that formed part of civic society activities at the United Nations COP17. He has been involved in student politics and volunteered in the areas of development, education, welfare, and leadership development focusing on under resourced schools.
Mr. de Ridder’s experiences travelling around the world and growing-up in a post-conflict society have fostered a belief in the universal value and need for a multilateralism that underscores soft power, and works expressly to achieve a unity at the intersection of different cultural, racial, economic and religious spheres towards the attainment of a larger freedom for all peoples.