UN Secretary General Is A Tough Job – Ban Ki-Moon

Outgoing UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, will end his tenure on 31 December 2016, bringing to an end a double five-year tenure at the helm of affairs in the world body.

The South Korean began his first term as Secretary-General on 1 January 2007, and was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly to a second term on 21 June 2011.

In his last remaining days at UN Headquarters, the Secretary-General spoke with journalists on a range of topics, including his service with the world body, the impact that war had on his decision to pursue a career in public service, and his next steps.

According to him, “It has been a great privilege for me to serve this great organization. My motto was that I will make this “most impossible job” into a “possible mission.”

“I have been trying during the last ten years, devoting all my time, passion and energy.

“It’s been very tough, very difficult. But, however difficult or challenging it may be, if you have strong commitment and a sense of balance and focus on your job, I think nothing is impossible.”

Ki-Moon attributed the successes recorded during his tenure to the support he received from member-countries, as well as from the entire staff of the UN whom he said demonstrated passionate commitment to their responsibilities.

“I am deeply grateful to our dedicated staff who have been working day and night – in many cases, in very dangerous circumstances,” he said.

“Whatever successes or achievements there may be, they are the outcome of joint efforts – not by me alone.

“The Secretary-General, however capable or willing, cannot do it alone. No single country or person can do it alone without support,” he added.

When asked about what stood out among the achievements recorded by the UN during his tenure, Ban Ki-Moon cited the Paris Climate Deal and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

“We achieved very important visions – like the Sustainable Development Goals covering all spectrums of life and the Paris Agreement on climate change – these are two very important, ambitious and far-reaching achievements,” he noted.

The outgoing Secretary General also added that his legacy on gender empowerment was worth mentioning as part of successes recorded during his time at the helm of the UN.

He said: “When I first became Secretary-General, there were just a few women staff at the senior level.

“But I have been trying to appoint as many capable and committed women to senior positions.

“I hope my successor, António Guterres, will build upon this.”

On the issue of incessant crises around the world, Ki-Moon said world leaders are to blame.

“My observation as Secretary-General during the last ten years … is that all these issues, these conflicts, have not been caused by the people.

“Most of these conflicts, unfortunately I have to say, were caused by leaders – because leaders have not shown strong commitment to the goals and ideals of the Charter of the United Nations, to basic human rights.

“Had all of these leaders shown more solidarity and empathy and compassion to their people, we would have much less conflict at this time.”

He urged leaders to “put the public common good ahead of everything else, ahead of your personal, narrow or regional perspectives.”



    He also expressed deep gratitude for many UN workers “who work day and night on the scene of conflicts and humanitarian disasters,” adding that “Without them, I think that many more people might have died.”

    The UN Boss said what he would miss the most is “the solidarity which our staff show for humanity,” while also expressing optimism that the incoming Secretary General, being “a man of compassion” would do even more for the organization.

    When asked what he would do next after retiring from the UN, Ki-Moon replied, “Whatever would be necessary, wherever it would be necessary.”

    “I will not spare any effort to do something that is right for my country, or an even greater community, beyond my country. I think it’s proper for any former Secretary-General to render his or her support to a common cause,” he said.

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