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Former UN chief tells world leaders to be compassionate

Abdul Karim Hanif
Filed on January 10, 2020 | Last updated on January 10, 2020 at 05.32 am
un chief, former un chief, ban ki moon, peace, iran, iraq, compassionate

(Shihab/KT)

The 75-year-old had served as the UN Chief from 2007 until 2016, for two five-year terms.

Former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon labeled protectionist policies adopted by the world leaders as one of the root causes of the the geopolitical crisis being witnessed internationally. The 75-year-old had served as the UN Chief from 2007 until 2016, for two five-year terms.

Since leaving the office, the South Korean diplomat has established the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, an independent, non-profit organisation focuses on decreasing youth mortality, supporting education, women and youth entrepreneurship. Ban Ki-moon was in Dubai to inaugurate the first GEMS World Academy Model United Nations being held at the school in Dubai.

During his tenure, the UN General Assembly had adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to tackle poverty, climate change and inequality, which he described as one of his major achievements at the helm of the international organization. Gender equality was another achievement to add to the tally of his successes. It was in January 2011, when the world witnessed the establishment of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality, commonly known as UN Women.

Though, his critics would argue that he had failed at protecting civilians from conflict, particularly with the lack of intervention in Syrian Civil War. Towards the end of his second term, a record 65 million men, women, and children were forced from their homes by the end of 2015, according to UNHCR figures. While speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the conference, Ban Ki-moon said that "it was the worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War."

He added, "I am appealing to the global political leaders to show compassion for those people. Leaders only tend to have a passion for their own countries for short-term political gain."

While calling for a more compassionate approach and to look beyond their own borders, Ban Ki-moon identified them as a moral and political responsibility of leaders in the twenty-first century.

In December 2016, the South Korean diplomat had spoken to the media at the end of his tenure saying that he has left "many things unfulfilled." The sentiments continue to be echoed four years.

"We want to see the leaders of the world more united, we want to see more solidarity between the countries. The recent conflict between the United States and Iran does not affect two countries but will affect the stability of Middle East and the world at large," says Ban Ki-moon.

During the keynote address to the participants of the Model United Nations, Ban Ki-moon said that young leaders should see themselves as international citizens equipped with a global vision. "Think beyond your own cultures as national boundaries are meaningless," said the Former UN Chief.

The 75-year old diplomat further stressed on the dangers of climate change. Due to the protectionist policies, he believes that the protectionist approach and political conflict are deviating the attention away from the alarming rate of global warming.

"The nature is sending us a strong alarm. The evidence of climate change is happening much faster than we might have thought. We have to react urgently and multilaterally before it destroys us," warned Ban Ki-moon.


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