Ban Ki-moon – Speech to UN Security Council

Speech to UN Security Council
Ban Ki-moon
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
New York, US

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Distinguished Members of the Security Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by echoing the words of my esteemed colleague, the Chair of The Elders, Mary Robinson, and thank you for the opportunity to address this august gathering.

As a former Secretary-General of the United Nations I have the utmost respect for the institution of the Security Council and the principles and values it is designed to uphold.

When the Council can cooperate and speak with a strong common voice, its decisions can have a decisive impact.

This strong, common voice is needed more than ever at this current time, when the deceptive allure of populism and isolationism is growing across all continents, from North and South America to Africa, Asia and Europe.

Faced with complex, multi-faceted and gravely serious challenges from nuclear proliferation to climate change and a radical transformation of our economic and social paradigms, it is perhaps understandable that many people from everyday walks of life feel overwhelmed and seek solace in simplified narratives of a bygone “golden age” when they had a sense of being in control of their individual and national destinies.

What is profoundly irresponsible, however, is for politicians – especially but not exclusively in democratic societies – to collude in or deliberately stoke these illusions for their own aims of securing and sustaining power, in full knowledge that no one country, however powerful, will be able to meet these global challenges on its own.

Mr. President,

This is why I believe it is absolutely essential for global peace and security that the member states of the United Nations, and especially those who have the honour of serving as members of the Security Council, understand and meet their responsibilities under the UN Charter and act in the service of all humanity rather than the narrow fields of national, ideological or sectarian interests.

The Council needs to be bold and assert its collective voice to meet common challenges, heeding the words of my illustrious predecessor as Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld:

“It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity. It is when we all play safe that fatality will lead us to our doom. It is in the ‘dark shade of courage’ alone that the spell can be broken.”

The Council has always been intended as a forum for collective engagement in the broader interests of peace and security, as well as an opportunity for member states to reflect their capital’s perspective on the issue under discussion.

In the humble view of The Elders, based on our substantial collective experience of working for and within the international system, the decision-making processes of the Council could be improved to encourage Council members agree on a joint common position to address conflicts in their early stages.

The Council should explore ways to be more efficient and effective, and to assert its collective voice through timely and strong statements. It needs to speak for and to the whole of the United Nations, rather than being constrained by the respective agendas and priorities in national capitals of its member states.

Mr. President,

Building on the remarks of President Robinson, I would like to highlight three more areas where I feel the Council can show effective leadership to support the work of the Secretary-General and improve general conditions for peace and conflict resolution:

1. The importance of prevention

The Secretary-General’s emphasis on the priority to be given to prevention is very welcome, and member states must ensure that UN prevention and peacebuilding work is properly supported and funded.

Council members should do more to support the Secretary-General in using his “good offices” to help prevent and reduce the threat of conflict. Council members should also recognise that the Council’s work on peace and security is undermined when its members undermine the UN’s own peace envoys and peace processes. The human cost of these machinations is all too painful to see, with Libya and Yemen standing out as just two grim examples.

2. Regional institutions

Strong multilateral regional institutions are essential for the maintenance of peace and security, both as forums for dialogue and as mechanisms for economic and political cooperation between states.

Positive examples include the European Union and OSCE.

By contrast, the absence of dialogue between states or of inclusive forums for dialogue in the Middle East is one of the reasons for the persistence and recurrence of conflict there.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend our host, the State of Kuwait, for its persistent commitment to and support for the values that have historically underpinned the Gulf Cooperation Council.

I would urge all other members of the GCC to act in the same spirit to restore this body to its vital role as a guarantor of regional stability, governed by mutual respect for national sovereignty and a shared understanding of common challenges.

The role of regional organisations in preventing and resolving conflict should be strengthened, not only in the Middle East but across the wider world. Greater coordination between the UN Security Council and regional organisations would also be beneficial.

3. Nuclear threat

The risks of nuclear conflict are higher than they have been in several decades.

As Mary Robinson so rightly said, nuclear weapons and climate change pose two of the most severe existential threats to life on Earth as we know it.

When it comes to nuclear non-proliferation, the international community is confronted with two serious challenges, namely the Iranian nuclear development programmes and securing the complete denuclearisation of North Korea.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, I am deeply concerned by the US decision to withdraw from the JCPOA because it not only weakens the regional stability of the Middle East, but also sends the wrong signal to ongoing negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear issues.

Unfortunately, the negotiations between the US and North Korea have come to a deadlock since the failure of the Hanoi summit last February.

I support the US government’s efforts to realise the complete denuclearisation of North Korea. In this context, we should maintain and faithfully comply with the sanction measures imposed by the Council on North Korea. I sincerely hope that all the Member States of the UN faithfully implement the sanction measures.

On the other hand, according to the FAO and WFP, actual food shortages in North Korea might reach around 1.5 million tons.

Considering the fact that North Korea has suffered chronic food shortages during the last two decades, the situation seems to be worsening without support from the international community.

In view of this, the government of the Republic of Korea has announced that it would contribute 8 million US dollars to the United Nations agencies to help North Korea address the current humanitarian situations.

I sincerely hope that the currently deadlocked negotiations will resume among the parties concerned as soon as possible.

But beyond these two regional issues, there is also the very real risk that the whole architecture of arms control and nuclear non-proliferation that was built up during the decades of superpower confrontation may collapse, through a combination of neglect, hubris and ill-founded threat analysis.

This issue goes to the very heart of the Security Council. Its permanent members are all nuclear-armed states, and they thus possess a uniquely heavy responsibility to develop effective processes of non-proliferation and disarmament.

Yet the failure of the P5 to make progress on their disarmament commitments under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty risks undermining the NPT, which has been a highly effective multilateral mechanism for preventing proliferation.

It is in the interests of the P5 to get serious about disarmament if they wish to maintain the near-universal international commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation, particularly in the lead up to next year’s NPT Review Conference.

The consequences of failure do not bear contemplation.

Mr. President,

I hope that in our contributions, The Elders have highlighted opportunities for progress as well as challenges to be overcome. We look forward now to a stimulating interactive discussion with the Council members, and thank you again for the privilege to take part in this debate.

Thank you.

Ban Ki-moon stresses on multilateralism at the UN Security Council

On June 12th, upon the invitation of the United Nations Security Council, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended the Council’s meeting with Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of the Republic of Liberia.

Robinson pointed that nuclear weapons and the climate change are the two greatest existential threats to our planet now. “It is in the interests of the P5 to get serious about disarmament if they wish to maintain the near-universal international commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation, particularly in the lead up to next year’s NPT Review Conference,” added Ban.

When the Security Council can cooperate and speak with a strong common voice, “its decisions can have a decisive impact,” Ban Ki-moon told the Chamber as a former Secretary-General of the UN.

“This strong, common voice is needed more than ever at this current time, when the deceptive allure of populism and isolationism is growing across all continents, from North and South America to Africa, Asia and Europe” he stated.

Ban highlighted areas where the Security Council can show effective leadership to support the work of the Secretary-General and improve general conditions for peace and conflict resolution.

Conflict prevention and mediation are two of “the most important tools at our disposal to reduce human suffering” current SG of the UN Antonio Guterres said.

He noted some “encouraging signs,” such as successful constitutional transfers of power in Mali and Madagascar; the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea; the revitalized agreement in South Sudan; and, after decades of dispute, “the designation of the Republic of North Macedonia to be internationally recognized”.

Read more: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1040321

Ban Ki-moon concerns about “what is happening over multilateralism”

On June 11th, 2019, a morning briefing session was held by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, US. President Richard Haass of the Council moderated the session and introduced the high-level speakers:

  • Ban Ki-moon, BKMC Co-chair and a member of The Elders
  • Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia

On stage, the world leaders discussed on the topic of “Leveraging Multilateralism to Prevent Conflict.” Asked about the current tensions regarding North Korea’s nuclear program, Ban regretted failure of Hanoi Summit and called for more concerted trust-building between the US and North Korea, stressing the need for more focus on humanitarian crisis and food shortage.

“As a global citizen, I am deeply concerned and angry at what’s happening over multilateralism,” said Ban. He praised the US leadership on climate change under former President Barack Obama and expressed his concerns on withdrawal from the Paris Agreement under the current US government.

Robinson explained why climate change and nuclear threat are two priorities existential threats to humanity. On the current issues in Sudan, Sirleaf said that “the will of the people must be respected” but that this requires strong institutions that can withstand pressures to retain military rule and oppression.

Learn more about the Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.cfr.org/
Source: The Elders

SG Ban is addressing the danger of air pollution during World Environment Day

On World Environment Day on June 5th, 2019, BKMC Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon travelled to China and Singapore to address the issues of air pollution and climate change.

Both keynotes, at the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) in Hangzhou and at the Ecosperity presented by Temasek in Singapore, highlight the need for global solutions and cooperation in the fight against global issues such as climate change.

According to the World Health Organization, 97% of cities in low- and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet air quality guidelines, whereas in high-income countries the percentage drops to 49. This shows that air pollution is strongly interlinked with social inequalities.

Ban Ki-moon is fighting against climate change as chair of the Global Green Growth Institute, the Global Center on Adaptation, and the National Council on Climate and Air Quality of South Korea.

Read more: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/

GEEF 2020 Preview “We will harvest what we plan!”

The ‘GEEF 2020 Preview’ event took place at the Yonsei University on May 31th, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.
 
BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who also serves as Honorary Chair of the IGEE, and President Kim Yong-Hak of the Yonsei University invited Ambassadors from the Embassies and representatives of international organizations in Korea to brief them on the mission and the plans of the upcoming GEEF 2020.

GEEF is an annual international forum that the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens has co-organized with the Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE) and the Yonsei University. Having successfully organized the first two Forums with more than 2,000 participants respectively coming from all over the world, the co-organizers together with supporters are putting synergized efforts to hold another successful Forum in the year 2020.
Co-chair Ban also  that all global citizens should “work together to make this world better for all” by achieving the SDGs.
BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer added that by co-organizing the GEEF and creating synergies, “we will harvest what we plan.”
At the reception, the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK) and Samsonite Korea received a letter of appreciation from Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and President Kim Yong-Hak for their great support for the success of the past GEEF 2019.
 
Learn more about the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF) and check out the newly released report of the GEEF 2019: http://geef-sd.org/
Interview videos of the GEEF participants are also available on the Centre’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC61cQFoAgNM8iLbbMpfY3NQ
 
Pictures by IGEE

“Towards Global Peace: Strengthening Youth’s Involvement in the Global Nuclear Dialogue”

On Friday, May 31th, “Towards Global Peace: Strengthening Youth‘s Involvement in the Global Nuclear Dialogue” took place at the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

The event featured distinguished speakers including Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo of the The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), and both Co-chairs and Board members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens:

  • Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Heinz Fischer, former President of Austria
  • Ambassador Kim Won-soo, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
  • Ambassador Shin Dong-ik, former Korean Ambassador to Austria

Ban expressed the importance of engaging youth as change makers in the field of disarmament and the nuclear dialogue as well as in addressing climate challenges.

He stressed that “global leadership is very important, rather than national leadership” in solving global issues and achieving peace.

Fischer rightly pointed out that “nuclear threats are highly linked to the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals” and that the involvement of the youth plays a key role in advancing the overall Global Goals.

Zerbo added that young people are the leaders of today, not tomorrow, encouraging young participants,

“we should achieve a nuclear-free world together with youth, together with you.”

Pictures by the IGEE

“Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote as well as attending the side events of the 75th session of the UN ESCAP that took place in Bangkok, Thailand from May 27th to 31st. Focusing on the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality,” the session comprised a ministerial segment and a senior officials segment.

“I firmly believe our common endeavour to achieve the SDGS can pave the path to equality, overcome expanding division. In order to meet this noble aspiration for equality, cooperation, innovation and engagement by all stakeholders is vital,” said Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as former United Nations Secretary-General

At a side event hosted with Google and the Thai government, Ban Ki-moon shared innovative solutions that promote digital inclusion as the Asia Pacific region faces a deepening digital divide with more than half of the region without access to basic internet.

Ban underscored the urgency for “all hands on deck” to harness ownership and participation from all sectors of society to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and urged stakeholders from all sectors and countries to work together, ensuring inclusiveness and equality not only in the Asia Pacific region but across the world.

Source: https://unescap.org/commission/75/
Photo: UN ESCAP

Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education in Support of UNAI opens at Handong Global University

The opening ceremony of the ‘Ban Ki-moon Institute for Global Education’ (IGE) in Support of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) Korea was held at Handong Global University (HGU) in Pohang, South Korea on May 27th.
 
The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests from around the world, including BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jr., Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Ramu Damodaran, Chief of UNAI.
BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered the welcoming speech as Honorary President of IGE.
In his speech, he stressed that “the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals is not possible without the cultivation of global citizens. That is what IGE is all about. IGE will contribute significantly to realization of the United Nations’ 3 pillars and its 17 SDGs by nurturing global citizens through comprehensive and holistic Global Citizenship Education.”

IGE was established at HGU, a higher education institution, in response to calls by the United Nations and the international community to implement GCED as a new educational paradigm, a paradigm for providing sustainable solutions for transforming the world in the era of the SDGs. Founded and administered through cooperation between HGU and UNAI Korea, IGE will offer such education at its Globally Responsible and Advanced Citizenship Education (GRACE) School. GRACE School will incorporate essential subject areas and the essence of GCED into 6 core courses and offer its students as part of a program leading to a Certificate in Holistic Global Citizenship.

In his congratulatory speech, Fischer said, “I want to stress the importance of Global Citizenship Education (GCED). I am impressed that IGE is incorporating GCED into its curriculum and promoting it as an invaluable tool for sustainable peace and prosperity in the 21st century.”
At the inauguration, IOC VP Samaranch received an honorary doctorate degree from HGU. He shared his vision of olympism as a “philosophy of life” achieved through the “combination of sport, culture, and education.”

Ban Ki-moon Centre promotes the SDG 4 in partnership with the GEMS

On May 22nd, 2019, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens signed an MOU with the GEMS Education in Berlin, Germany.

Our collaboration with the pioneering education company will specifically focus on the promotion of SG4, quality education and GCED. BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon also accepted the ambassadorship for the Model United Nations (MUN) at GEMS World Academy schools, including GEMS World Academy – Dubai.

The former Secretary General will hold this position for 3 years, where he will share his knowledge and expertise with students form all around the world.

Co-chair Ban and CEO Monika Fröhler were happy about the outcome of the fruitful meeting and meeting with representatives from the GEMS: Chairman Sunny Varkey, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Asad Zafar and Shanta Retnasingam, Special Advisor of the Chairman.

Chairman Varkey is also the founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize. We’d like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the Varkey Foundation that announced to make annual voluntary contributions to the Centre.

Learn more: http://www.gemseducation.com/

 

 

 

GCA preparation for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York

As Chairman of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation, Ban Ki-moon together with World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva chaired the meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany on May 21st, 2019, in Berlin, Germany.

 “There is no time to waste. The decisions we make today have a long-lasting impact.”

The groups discussed their inputs and possible collaboration for the UN Climate Action Summit held by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York on September 23rd, 2019. Among the topics were the definition of climate change to people in developing countries and the possible mitigating effects.

The 2019 Climate Action Summit should accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement on a collective national level and in turn support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more about the GCA here: https://gca.org/