Ban Ki-moon’s Speech at the International BAR Association (IBA) Conference

COEX Convention & Exhibition Center 513,

Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday 22-27 September 2019

BAN KI-MOON

Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks

 

The Honorable Mayor of Seoul, Park Won Soon,

Chair of IBA Seoul Conference Host Committee, The Hon. Song Sang Hyun,

President of International Bar Association, Horacio Bernardes Neto,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 International Bar Association Annual Conference.

 

This is the first time that this huge gathering of esteemed international lawyers has gathered in Seoul. I am simply honored to have been invited to address such an important and influential group hailing from so many continents. I take this opportunity to applaud each of you for making the journey here, whether short or long, and I know some have been of considerable length.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Our world is presently in flux. It always is, but in recent times there has been a notable acceleration. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, where what happens on one part of our planet is immediately known and occasionally felt in another part. Under this backdrop, unfortunately, and in a relatively short period, a shrinking of civil society has occurred and the rule of law of is being eroded.

 

Imagine what the world would look like without the rule of law: No independent media. No freedom to assemble and protest peacefully. No freedom to think individual ideas and articulate an opinion. No independent judiciary and no independent legal profession. Just imagine that for a moment.

 

This erosion is happening, gradually. You are the chief guardians of the rule of law, and, in this regard, must increase your unified efforts to stand firm in halting its erosion. As we all know, the rule of law promotes inclusive economic growth and builds accountable institutions that underpin global sustainable development. It protects individuals and businesses alike.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am fully aware of the IBA’s rich history and its founding principles. Now, I would like to briefly remind you of the establishment of the UN in 1945, the IBA in 1947, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Each were the product of like-minded individuals determined, through passion, compassion, integrity, and a guiding sense of justice to carve out a better world for our future generations. What these key institutions have in common is that they were all developed by diverse representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds hailing from all regions of the world.

 

As the IBA matches the UN in both structure and ambition, I believe this makes it easier to talk to you because the issues that are important to the UN are also critical to the IBA. From such topics as climate change, poverty eradication, cultural diversity, and the promotion of human rights, mental health, and gender equality; it is clear that there is much work to be done, with new challenges always emerging. However, I firmly believe that each of you will contribute in some way towards what is required in these areas. Indeed, we should be reminded of an old proverb that says, ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’

 

In this respect, the work of the IBA relating to business and human rights, gender equality, and climate change, as well as promoting justice and upholding the principle of accountability are all illuminated candles, and they are lit in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

In addition, I feel particularly connected to the IBA in other ways too, knowing that Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, of which I am a Deputy Chair, and the late Nelson Mandela, Founder of The Elders, both have longstanding links to the substantive work of the IBA. Mary Robinson is working on climate justice and Nelson Mandela was the Founding Honorary President of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

 

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to emphasize that an independent legal profession and judiciary are the cornerstone of functioning democracies, and that as much as possible needs to be done to safeguard them.

 

Thanks to your active participation, I am confident that this conference will be crowned with great success. Please allow me to finish by quoting the late Dr Martin Luther King who once said; ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’

 

Thank you very much for your attention.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended UN Climate Action Summit 2019 – Adapting Now: Making People Safer

“The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you.” – Greta Thunberg

On September 23rd, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon attended UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York.

UN Climate Action Summit 2019 was convened as global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security.

The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and even, as asked by the latest science, to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Thankfully, we have the Paris Agreement – a visionary, viable, forward-looking policy framework that sets out exactly what needs to be done to stop climate disruption and reverse its impact. But the agreement itself is meaningless without ambitious action.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

Source / © UN Climate Action Summit 2019

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon launched the “Year of Action” of the Global Commission on Adaptation with Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgeieva

“Action is imperative if we want all people, especially those living on the frontlines of climate change, and our children, who will inherit the impacts of climate change, to have the opportunity for a better future. During our Year of Action, we will implement climate-resilient solutions all over the world so we can save lives, reduce risk, strengthen economies, and protect our environment. We no longer have any time to waste.” – Ban Ki-moon

Built on the momentum of the UN Climate Action Summit on September 24th, the Global Commission on Adaptation was launched a Year of Action to accelerate and scale climate adaptation solutions.

The Commission is led by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations; Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank.

“Without urgent adaptation action, we risk undermining food, energy, and water security for decades to come. Continued economic growth and reductions in global poverty are possible despite these daunting challenges—but only if societies invest much more in adaptation. The costs of adapting are less than the cost of doing business as usual. And the benefits many times larger” – Ban Ki-moon

At the event that took place in the UN headquarters, the Commission leaders and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Dutch Water Management Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen launched eight Action Tracks that focus on the following areas: Finance and Investment, Food Security and Agriculture, Nature-Based Solutions, Water, Cities, Locally-Led Action, Infrastructure, and Preventing Disasters. Together, these actions form a comprehensive platform for urgent, bold and equitable adaptation.

More than 75 national governments, multilateral banks, civil society organizations and private sector actors have signed on to support and deliver on these initiatives. The Commission and its partners will mobilize political, technical, and financial support for adaptation, through both existing initiatives and new coalitions for change.

Over the next 12 months, the Commission will be working on climate solutions to regions that are vulnerable to climate change, solutions such as reinforcing coastal areas and future-proofing urban infrastructure. The “Year of Action” will run until the Dutch Climate Adaptation Summit, to be held in Amsterdam on 22 October 2020.

Sources: World Resources InstituteGovernment of the Netherlands

© DRRRF 

Ban Ki-moon speaks with religious leaders about the climate crisis

On September 19th, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who is also a chairman of the National Council on Climate and Environment Conference of South Korea, visited pastor Hong-jeong Lee of the National Council of Churches in Korea and other leaders of the Christian Council of Korea including Reverend Sung-bok Kim, to foster Christian communities’ participation in climate actions.

“Peace emphasized in Christianity, unity through dialogue and cooperation, and the conservation of the natural world are fundamental to solving the climate and environmental problems we currently face.”

Emphasizing the importance of the activities the National Climate and Environment Committee and the need for global cooperation, Co-chair Ban said, “Korea’s fine dust level is the lowest among OECD countries. It poses a direct danger to people’s health.” “Thus, I would like to ask Christian community to actively participate in a peaceful solution to tackle  a variety of climate and environmental problems, including the fine dust that has become a national disaster.”

Source: Yonhap News

© PCKWORLD

Co-chairs Ban and Fischer say: “The UN can not do anything without solidarity”

At the European Forum Alpbach 2019, BKMC Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer were interviewed on August 25th by Der Standard, an Austrian daily newspaper published in Vienna.

Journalist Christoph Prantner asked why multilateralism is essential to meet the major global challenges. The two agreed that the international community must find new unity and that otherwise the big global challenges such as the climate crisis can not be overcome.

Ban stressed the “importance of

multilateralism in solving global challenges,” giving examples on the trade war between the USA and China and the rise of populism in Europe. He said that “regional issues were solved through solidarity and diplomacy in the past.”

Fischer added, “leadership alone is not enough, global challenges are always politicalecological
and ideological.”
He used the Paris Agreement as one of the solutions for current issues.

Giving the World War II and the subsequent creation of the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU), Fischer pointed out that “sometimes we need a shock/crisis to be able to move towards a bigger goal.”

 

Read more (GER): https://bit.ly/2k03s1O

© Eugenie Berger

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

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/

 

Ban Ki-moon tackles the micro dust air pollution in South Korea

On Arpul 29th, 2019, the South Korean government launched the presidential committee on national climate on fine dust pollution. Chairing the committee, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the launch, stressing the importance of the national efforts to tackle the issues as well as to cooperate with other states such as China.

South Korea designated fine dust as a social disaster in March as the intensity and frequency of the air pollution has increased in recent months. A large portion of the fine dust is believed to blow in from China.

“As the fine dust issue is tangled with shared interests, it is not easy to resolve it. For fundamental solutions, I will make efforts to communicate with the people and accommodate their opinions beyond some sectors’ vested interests,” Ban said at the opening.

Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier asked Ban, who played a key role in producing the Paris Agreement in 2015, to help the government address the issue and appointed him the head of the agency. The council consists of Ban and 42 members selected from various sectors including political parties, the business circle, the government, expert groups and civil society.

“The people deserve to enjoy clean air. Let’s make a country safe from fine dust air pollution together,” Moon said in a message to celebrate the launch read by his chief of staff Noh Young-min.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2GREAlt
Photo by Yonhap News Agency

 

“Human beings sometimes forgive, but nature never forgives,” says Ban Ki-moon at Stanford

“Human beings sometimes forgive, but nature never forgives,” said Ban Ki-moon

as he was giving a speech on the topic of “Multilateralism in a Turbulent World” at Stanford University on April 19th, 2019.

“The world is going through pronounced changes,” he said, regarding the current state of climate change. Ban stressed that there needs to be more action taken to prevent and/or adapt to climate change, and the necessity of the global citizen responsibility — specifically that of the youth and women — is paramount.

“The challenges we face are simply too numerous to be left in the hands of a few leaders,” said Ban, encouraging the audience to act as global citizens.

He also expressed optimism about the Paris Agreement that was implemented at the end of his term and disappointment in the current US government’s decision to withdraw from it. Ban called for further collaboration between the US and China in addressing climate change.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2UQXxx9

Alpbach-Laxenburg Group retreat at EFA 2018

During European Forum Alpbach 2018, Alpbach-Laxenburg Group hosted a retreat where partners and potential partners of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens gathered, including IIASA, to discuss potential future collaboration. The meeting was attended by some of the Centre’s Board members Jeffrey Sachs and Kim Won-soo, and CEO Monika Froehler.

Potential topics of collaboration include developing thematic and political frameworks to link the Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement, and other international conventions to create integrated implementation frameworks. The Centre’s partners will work together to develop a global school of excellence in sustainable studies in line with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Academy and SDSN Youth directed by Jeffrey Sachs.

Source and photo: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/events/20180826-Alpbach.html