United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for international solidarity toward “protracted conflicts” worldwide, warning that the number of people displaced by conflict has hit a new record high since the end of World War II.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Ban highlighted the humanitarian troubles faced in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Libya, Mali “and many other places”.
“Extreme poverty and deepening inequalities challenge our sense of what is just. The number of people displaced by conflict reached the highest number since the end of the Second World War, they have reached 65 million, and is now increasing day by day because of continuing conflicts here and there,” he said. “These issues should be resolved by international solidarity.”
Ban thanked China for successfully hosting the summit, reminding that it would be the last he attends as UN chief as his mandate is due to end Dec. 31.
Describing the summit as focusing on sustainable development, peace and prosperity for all, Ban said socio-economical issues as well as climate change would be among the agenda of the gathering.
Referring to the United States and China officially signing onto the Paris Agreement on climate change Saturday, Ban said he was “very honored to receive those legal instruments from the two leaders in person”.
He “highly” commended Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama of the U.S. for their “outstanding leadership” on the issue.
Ban called on all world leaders — particularly those from G20 countries — “to show their leadership by accelerating their domestic ratification processes so we can turn the aspirations of Paris into the transformative climate action the world so urgently needs”.
He also stressed that sustainable peace was required for sustainable development.
“For the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development to succeed, for a steady economic growth to be achieved, we need peace and development to work hand in hand,” he added.
Ban furthermore urged G20 countries to work together “to resolve urgent challenges posed by poverty, inequality and conflicts”.
*Reporting by Nazli Yuzbasioglu; Writing by Sibel Ugurlu