The UNRocks Music Group is composed of the ambassadors of Denmark, Kingdom of Thailand, Kingdom of Tonga, Republic of Korea, Romania, and Serbia to the United Nations, as well as of a member of the UN Secretariat, who step out of their usual roles and utilize the soft power of the arts to promote peace.
Lead Singer: H.E. Ms. Simona-Mirela Miculescu has recently been appointment as the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office in Belgrade on June 8, 2015. She formerly served as the Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations from 2008-2015.
During her 24 years of diplomatic career, she served as Spokesperson for the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director of the Press Department, Press Secretary of the Romanian Embassy in Washington D.C., Senior Public Information Officer at the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Foreign Policy Adviser to the President of Romania, and as Senior Adviser for Public Outreach to the Government of Iraq.
Ambassador Miculescu held positions such as Vice-President of the UNICEF Executive Board, Chair of the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly (66th Session), and Vice-President of the General Assembly (68th Session). She also served as Chair of the Commission for Social Development (53rd and 54th Sessions).
Bass, Vocals: H.E. Mr. Ib Petersen is the Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations in New York as of 1 August 2013. Before taking up this position, he served as State Secretary for Development Policy of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2009. Prior to this he was State Secretary for Development Cooperation, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United Nations.
Ambassador Petersen has held a number of senior management positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Under-Secretary for Bilateral Development Cooperation, (2004-07), Head of Department, Policy and Planning (2001-04), and Deputy Head of Department, Development Policy and Planning (1998-2001). He served as Deputy Head of the Danish Embassy in Zimbabwe (1995-98) and as Advisor to the Nordic Executive Director on the Board of the World Bank in Washington D.C. (1988-91).
Drums: H.E. Mr. Oh Joon is a career diplomat who has served the Republic of Korea in various posts. He was appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Korea to the United Nations in New York on September 20, 2013. He currently serves as the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as the President-Elect of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for the 2015-2016 term.
He also served as President of the Security Council for May 2014 during the 2013-2014 term. Prior to this position, he was Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Singapore from 2010-13 and Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul from 2008-2010.
Guitar, Vocals: H.E. Mr. Milan Milanović was appointed Permanent Representative of the Republic of Serbia to the United Nations by the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia on 5 April 2013.
He served as attaché and later on as Secretary in the Sector for Economic Affairs of the MFA. (1988-93). He joined the Permanent Mission of the FR of Yugoslavia to the UN Office at Geneva as Second Secretary (1993-98). He was deputy and then Acting Chef de Cabinet in the Office of the MFA (1998-2001).
He served as Counsellor for Economic Affairs in the Embassy of Serbia and Montenegro in Paris and its Representative to the OECD (2001-05). He was appointed as Director of the Department for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the MFA with the rank of Minister Counsellor in 2005 and was promoted to Ambassador at Large in 2006.
Keyboard: H.E. Mr. Mahe ‘uli’uli Sandhurst Tupouniua is the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations.
He joined the Tongan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990 as Assistant Secretary and served overseas as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (2009-10); Deputy Permanent Representative in New York (2004-08), First Secretary in London (1999-2004); and Consul in San Francisco (1992-98). He was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs (and Trade) from 2011-13.
Guitar, Vocals: H.E. Mr. Virachai Plasai, the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations in New York, is a career diplomat who has been with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1987.
Previously, he was Ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands (2009-15), and Director-General of the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs (2007-09) and of the Department of International Economic Affairs (2006-07). He also served at the Royal Thai Embassy in London (1990-94) and the Thai Permanent Mission in Geneva (1998-2001).
He specializes in international law, treaty negotiation, and international litigation. He was legal counsel to the Royal Thai Government in various litigation cases, and served as Thai Agent before the International Court of Justice in the second Temple case (2011-13). In addition, he has extensive experience as panelist/arbitrator in many landmark State-State dispute cases.
Gary Fry is an Emmy Award-winning composer, arranger, and choral conductor. Mr. Fry has the distinction of being the most performed living composer by the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra, having been the composer/arranger for their Welcome Yule! annual Christmas concerts since 1996.
He is also artistic consultant to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for their Christmas celebration programs, and his Christmas works are regularly performed there as well as in programs by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the New York Pops, the Boston Pops, and many other orchestras around the country.
Mr. Fry has composed for film, television, live theater, ballet, and more than 2500 radio and television commercials for McDonald’s, Sears, Kellogg’s, and hundreds of other major national advertisers. He received a 2006 Emmy Award for his work for Chicago’s CBS affiliate WBBM-TV. Air travelers hear Mr. Fry’s electronic arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue when passing through the United Airlines terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
Mr. Fry’s teaching resume includes positions on the faculties of the University of Miami. Northwestern University, and Midwest Young Artists, and he has conducted workshops and seminars at many other educational institutions. Choirs under his direction have performed at the White House, the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City, the United Nations in Geneva, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Mr. Fry has been the Festival Artistic Director of The Rhythms of One World Festival since its inception in 2012.
Acting Executive Director of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, CD Producer:
Yin-Chu Jou is a New York City-based concert pianist, artist, and international concert tour and festival producer. She has been awarded Musical America’s 2014 Top Professionals of the Year- “Profiles in Courage: Innovators and Risktakers” as the producer of the Rhythms of One World Festival, and “2013 Woman of Achievement” by WCBS Newsradio 880 for her peace-through-the-arts work. She was commended by The New York Times for her work on the Youth Symphony for the United Nations, which promotes world peace through music in 2006.
Ms. Jou has recently been appointed as the Acting Executive Director of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Inc. (FAF) and has been serving as FAF’s Artistic Director since 2005. Her first projects in her new role include the debut single recording, CD production, and launch of the new band UNRocks Music Group comprised of sitting Ambassadors to the UN, and the exhibit Glamour & Giving: Photography by Rose Hartman.
Ms. Jou has performed extensively, including a three-part Classical concert series presented by The Greenwich Arts Council, at the 2000 International Piano Festival in Spain, and at the Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation’s 2011 Young Artist Series, among others. She was the featured artist during the 40th Anniversary celebration of the United Nations Women’s Guild at UN Headquarters in New York, where she shared the stage with current First Lady and wife of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Mrs. Ban Soon-Taek and the former UN Women’s Guild President Tsu-Wei Chang. Her performances had been described as “expressive”, “beautiful” and “compelling”.
Taiwanese in descent and raised in the Philippines, Ms. Jou is an alumna of the Manhattan School of Music with a post-graduate Professional Studies degree in Piano Performance, Master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of the Philippines College of Music, and St. Scholastica’s College Bachelor of Music with magna cum laude honors.