Events

[2020-01-09] Chairman Ban Ki-moon’s Interview with the Khaleej Times

By 2020년 1월 13일 No Comments
Khaleej Times Official Youtube

On January 9th, Chairman Ban Ki-moon conducted an interview with Khaleej Times during his visit to GEMS World Academy Model United Nations(GWAMUN) in Dubai.

 

Below is an edited transcript of the interview with Abdul Karim Hanif, multimedia journalist of the Khaleej Times.

KT

I would like to look back into your ten years as the UN Secretary General. How would you like people to remember your ten years as the Secretary General?

BAN

I can proudly tell you that I had done all my best efforts. However, because of the lack of political will of the people who must be committed to address global challenges with global solutions, they could not show their global visions. This is something I regret very much. Now we are observing very worrisome circumstances where multilateralism is under attack by very powerful countries. Multilateralism has been the guiding framework of our society and our world, particularly led by the UN. Without multilateralism respected and without global vision it will be extremely difficult to address many unfilled challenges we are now facing.

KT

So where did we all go wrong? In the start of the Century, we saw international and multilateral approaches. But ever since we have seen the turn of the decade, there has been a huge sense of protectionism and division. Where are we going wrong?

BAN

Of course the UN and multilateralism is still the guiding framework – absolutely necessary. But the UN and multilateralism in a broader sense must be supported and cared by the people, particularly by the leaders. There are many important countries, those which should be the leaders in sending out important messages to the people. This is what I am very much worried. At the same time, as the former Secretary General, I have been emphasizing loud and clear that the UN should be fully respected. The value and idea of the UN truly represent what people around the world aspire.

KT

What we have seen is that climate change is being a huge point of concern. Nowadays young people, such as Greta Thunberg, have come out speaking out. During your tenure, we saw the COP21 and we saw the progress in the world. We are seeing conflicts, but it is natural disasters are still dominating. How alarming is this situation?

BAN

It is no longer a question whether climate change is happening or not. We have seen enough evidence that climate change is happening. It is happening much faster than we might have thought. Nature is giving us a strong alarm. Before the rash of nature destroys us, we have to do something urgently. That is why the IPCC has made a strong warning that unless we strive to contain the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, then we will have no chance for the future of our succeeding generations. This is a moral and political responsibility, particularly by political and business leaders to adapt to changing situations.

KT

Are we getting distracted by other political developments that we have seen here in this region? Do you think it is an issue that we are shying away from real problems? Is there a solution for global peace?

BAN

All current situations and conflicts are coming because of the lack of mutual understanding and mutual respect. There are many countries and people with different history, culture, and aspirations. What is more important is that we want to see leaders of the world to be more united and we want to see more solidarity among countries. Recent conflict between the United States and Iran does not affect only the parties involved. It will affect very widely and negatively to the overall business situation, as well as global situations. That is why as one of the Elders of this world, I have been strongly advising them to refrain from further action and de-escalate the situation and engage in dialogue.

KT

Concluding with very important aspect as well, when you left your office, we saw that we had 65 million people displaced and there has been no solution to the migration crisis. Is there an end?

BAN

There are no actual boundaries between and among countries at this time, due to the transformative development of communication and transportation. We are living in a small planet Earth. Therefore, we should do all to protect those people who are in need for urgent help. Otherwise, they will have no hope and we will see many people die unnecessarily. I am again appealing to the people of the world, particularly to political leaders, to show compassion. People tend to be partial for their own countries, and they are working only for their short political gains. It is not the time for that kind of malpractice. I am urging world leaders to be more compassionate and look beyond their own countries. This is their moral and political responsibility in this 21st Century.