The Secretary-General of the United Nations met with members of the media on Friday (December 16th) for the final time before leaving office.
Ban Ki-moon held his annual end-of-year news briefing giving a statement and taking questions. His second five-year term expires at the end of the month and he will be replaced by former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres in January.
“I have been repeatedly saying that I am still the Secretary-General. I still have 15 days to go, so let us see after 15 days when January 1 comes, then as I said I will take some rest, then I will go back to Korea then I will try to meet as many people as possible which may include political leaders and leaders of community and societies, and my friends. I will really consider seriously how best and what I should and I could do for my country Korea,” said the South Korean diplomat about his future plans.
When pressed the Secretary-General called the Paris Pact on Climate Change as his most important achievement while in office, describing negotiations as completely stalled when he began his tenure as chief of the international organization. However, Ban warned that there was remained many unresolved issues, most prominently Syria.
“The Syrian crisis has been continuing six years now. The situation in Yemen and South Sudan and Central African Republic and Mali, and elsewhere. All the fires are still burning. There is clearly a lack of global solidarity. The are many people who believe that a military solution can resolve all these issues, but as I have been repeatedly saying there is no such military means, military solution, only inclusive political solution can bring a sustainable solution of these issues,” he said.
“I feel sorry that I have to leave so many unfulfilled issues to my successor and member states, but at the end our day we have to also understand that we need to do much more with global solidarity and compassionate leadership. That is what I am urging global leaders to engage in much, much more,” Ban finished.