Events

[2020-11-11] The 2020 Asian Leadership Conference

By 2020년 11월 11일 No Comments
Source: The Asian Leadership Conference screenshot

On November 11th 2020, Chairman Ban was invited to speak at the 2020 Asian Leadership Conference. This year’s theme was “Rebuilding Global Leadership after the Coronavirus: Rebuilding Global Leadership for the next 100 years.”

Chairman Ban started his speech regarding the current pandemic. “Now more than ever before, the world needs dynamic and forward-thinking leadership synergizing cooperation and partnership to confront the pressing challenges we face. This is particularly true in regards to building back better post-COVID-19, and taking firm action on climate change.” He stated.

He continued with an urgent call to all the leaders, to strive for the sustainable development goals in their practice. “We also need reinvigorated global leadership to hit SDG targets and integrate them alongside our global socio-economic recovery from this pandemic. Indeed, to achieve the SDGs, we need an “all hands-on deck” approach where everyone joins together in multi-stakeholder partnership to harness the ownership and active participation from all sectors of every society.” He stated.

Chairman Ban also stated, “Leaders must prepare for future pandemics as we combat this one, share best practices, and urgently restore global cooperation to persevere over the global threats we face. We are still at an early stage of the pandemic and nationalist isolationism simply won’t help any recoveries.” He said.

Chairman Ban concluded his speech with a sincere message to all. “Through amplified solidarity and concrete action, I am confident that we can create the future we want, one that is anchored in health, sustainability, and security for all.

As such, I humbly call on you to redouble your efforts to enhance leadership, forge dynamic partnerships, collaborate across borders, and scale-up sustainability in your work, communities, and lives.” He concluded.

Below is the full script of Chairman Ban Ki-moon’s speech.

Thank you for your warm introduction.

Honorable Park Byung-seok, Chairman of the National Assembly,

H.E. George W. Bush, former President of the United States,

President Bang Sang-hoon of the Chosun Ilbo,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great honor to speak to you today as part of the 2020 Asian Leadership Conference.

 

And it is my privilege to deliver these remarks at such an important juncture for us all. Indeed, we currently stand on the precipice of a period of great change; one that will have profound implications for Asia, the world, and our planet.

 

My sincere appreciation goes to The Chosun Ilbo for their hard work in making this timely Conference a success, as well as for extending an invitation to me to deliver these remarks alongside so many distinguished thought-leaders.

 

Also, I extend my appreciation to the eminent Knowledge Partner organizations from Korea, the US, China, and India who have provided vital support for this world class event.

 

I’m simply honored to have the opportunity to address high-level leaders in government, business, academia, civil society, and talented young people like you today.

 

You have all come together under the theme of “the World After the Coronavirus: Rebuilding Global Leadership for the Next 100 years,” with the recognition that we need elevated leadership for our societies to flourish in a globalized world coping with decidedly global challenges.

 

Now more than ever before, the world needs dynamic and forward-thinking leadership synergizing cooperation and partnership to confront the pressing challenges we face. This is particularly true in regards to building back better post-COVID-19, and taking firm action on climate change.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We are currently living through a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic that has upended our daily lives, health systems, economies, interpersonal relationships, and societies.

 

Our planet is on fire—both literally and figuratively with the climate crisis deepening as temperatures surge, sea levels rise, and wildfires burn. Wars and conflict continue to kill civilians, and the scourge of nuclear weapons continues to pose an existential threat to human security.

 

Technological innovation is rapidly altering our lives; bringing us closer together, but also inciting division, extremism, and misinformation in our societies.

 

And we have recently witnessed tens of millions of people in the US, Europe, and all around the world take to the streets to protest injustice, corruption, and inequality.

 

Under this backdrop of COVID-19, security threats, environmental crisis, and dizzying change, we have also made progress in key areas, and I am confident that we have invaluable opportunities to change the world for the better.

 

But to do so, we need to come together in much greater solidarity and unity. We must rebuild global leadership and help advance energetic cooperation and innovate partnerships, both within national borders and across oceans and seas.

 

Today, I will speak to you about how we can achieve this and forge ahead in this era of increased global uncertainty.

 

First, I will highlight the importance of reconstructing global leadership to persevere over COVID-19.

 

Second, I will underline the utility of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) in bringing us together, boosting inclusion, and helping us build back better.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our common global reality in unprecedented ways. At the moment, there are over 50 million total cases and over 1.2 million global deaths.

 

This pandemic has underlined the great need for unified global leadership and a strong multilateral response.

 

Unfortunately, we are lacking both at such a critical time.

 

Indeed, in the last nine months we have witnessed a major failure in global leadership in responding to COVID-19 and minimizing its spread.

 

This is primarily a result of nationalism being the default configuration and great power politics having largely supplanted multilateral cooperation over recent years.

 

The US and China are engaged in a detrimental blame game instead of working together for the greater good.

 

And US leadership on the global stage has been virtually non-existent under President Trump over the last four years.

 

At the same time, the divided UN Security Council was shamefully slow to address COVID-19 and its major implications for global security.

 

Under this troubling backdrop, it is clear that we must rebuild global leadership to defeat this pandemic.

 

To holistically respond to COVID-19 and other major global challenges such as our deepening climate crisis, we must reinvigorate global leadership to expand multilateral cooperation, innovation, and partnership.

 

We are all in this together, and only as strong as our weakest health system.

 

Leaders must prepare for future pandemics as we combat this one, share best practices, and urgently restore global cooperation to persevere over the global threats we face.

 

We are still at an early stage of the pandemic and nationalist isolationism simply won’t help any recoveries.

 

Indeed, this virus does not respect borders; nor does the expanding climate crisis.

 

But there may now be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. In this regard, I take this opportunity to warmly welcome the results of the recently held US election and congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.

 

I am of the view that this result is a clear victory not only for the restoration of American leadership at a crucial juncture, but for multilateralism and global cooperation more largely.

 

Indeed, during his first address as President-elect this past Saturday, Mr. Biden delivered a deeply meaningful and important speech that emphasized some of the very same themes that all global leaders should seek to revitalize during this incredibly important time for all people and our planet.

 

These themes included defending democracy, returning to decency, leading with compassion, elevating cooperation, healing division, prioritizing justice, enhancing national security, mobilizing science, spreading faith, battling for the climate, and broadening prosperity for all.

 

As UN Secretary-General, I had the opportunity to work closely with President-elect Biden during his time serving as Vice President in the Obama Administration.

 

I believe that his election gives the US a vital opportunity to reestablish the quintessential American leadership values that have inspired so many around the world.

 

These include championing freedom and democracy, protecting human rights, and strengthen key alliances and strategic relationships in both the Pacific and Atlantic.

 

I also believe his election provides both the US and the larger world with a meaningful impetus to elevate the requisite leadership to decisively tackle both the ongoing pandemic and the climate crisis when it is most needed.

 

Regarding COVID-19, this includes reestablishing the US relationship with the World Health Organization, deploying a necessary science and evidence-based virus response, and aggressively increasing testing and tracing.

 

On climate issues, I am very elated that Mr. Biden has promised to return the US to the Paris Climate Agreement on day 1, invest $2 trillion to combat and adapt to climate change, and establish net-zero emissions by 2050. Such leadership will also help elevate action on sustainable development.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As the former UN Secretary-General, I am incredibly proud to have brought the entire world together in cooperation to agree to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Adopted by 193 countries in New York in 2015, the SDGs offer us a way forward to solve some of the most critical issues of our time.

 

These include poverty and hunger, public health, education, inequality, peace and justice, climate change, and gender equality.

 

Five years since their adoption, the SDGs have made tangible progress on bettering maternal mortality rates, combatting poverty and hunger, and improving the quality of water and sanitation.

 

But progress is uneven on others and COVID-19, conflict, and climate change are all leading to troubling reversals in SDGs implementation on the ground.

 

As such, we need to move forward with a renewed sense of urgency with only 10 years left to go.

 

We also need reinvigorated global leadership to hit SDG targets and integrate them alongside our global socio-economic recovery from this pandemic.

 

In this connection, I believe that the US electoral results will also go a long way in catalyzing enhanced cooperative and partnership action for global sustainable development.

 

Indeed, to achieve the SDGs, we need an “all hands-on deck” approach where everyone joins together in multi-stakeholder partnership to harness the ownership and active participation from all sectors of every society.

 

National ownership is also a crucial prerequisite to achieve the SDGs.

 

In this regard, governments around the world must continue mainstreaming the SGDs into key planning and policies at all levels, including the local and municipal levels, to give us the best chance of success.

 

This will help instill a strong sense of collaboration and solidarity; both within and beyond cities and national borders.

 

And cities, particularly, are integral to the ultimate success of the SDGs as urbanization rapidly continues.

 

Consider the fact that more than one hundred million people are moving to cities each year, and four hundred million people are projected to add to urban populations in the near future.

 

According to the UN, 68% of the world’s population is slated to live in urban areas by 2050.

 

With this in mind, global partnerships, including the active participation of countries, the private sector, cities, think tanks, women, academia, the youth, and other key stakeholders like you are necessary if we are to achieve the SDGs.

 

This will help synergize leadership, ownership, participation, and involvement from all people and all sectors of all societies.

 

I firmly believe that achieving the SDGs can help bring us together in this era of expanding pandemic and uncertainty.

 

They offer us a viable road map to help rebuild our societies back better—and greener—from the pandemic.

 

Simultaneously, the SDGs also can also help pave the path to greater security, inclusion, sustainability, and prosperity.

 

They can help construct healthy societies, fortify resilience to climate change, and bring us all together to innovate, collaborate, and take action to persevere over the global challenges we face in our interconnected world.

 

In this regard, I believe that the enhanced global leadership of the UN will also be essential in the construction and maintenance of the post-COVID-19 world.

 

To lead the world on a brighter path and help create the future we want, the UN must leverage its unique strengths and convening power.

 

Under the banner of reinvigorated multilateralism and achieving the SDGs, UN leadership can help us build back in a more sustainable and inclusive way from COVID-19.

 

Indeed, we currently have a generational opportunity to build transformationally forward, boost inclusion, and advance urgent action on combating climate change.

 

This will help steer our planet and humanity towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

 

The UN, revitalized through the refreshed global leadership and international cooperation of its Member States and other partners, can harness this pandemic as a gateway to a brighter world.

 

And doing so will be advantageous to countries as well.

 

In this connection, I believe that states prioritizing sustainability, healthy and resilient societies, and net-zero emissions alongside the transition to green economies will gain leadership and immense competitive advantages in our post-COVID world.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly clear that a new direction centered on health, sustainability, security, inclusivity, and prosperity is greatly needed.

 

To move in this direction, the dignity, rights, and well-being of all people and our planet must guide a bold paradigm shift towards elevated multilateral cooperation and partnership.

 

Through amplified solidarity and concrete action, I am confident that we can create the future we want, one that is anchored in health, sustainability, and security for all.

 

And you, the distinguished participants at the 2020 Asian Leadership Conference, can help lead these efforts.

 

As such, I humbly call on you to redouble your efforts to enhance leadership, forge dynamic partnerships, collaborate across borders, and scale-up sustainability in your work, communities, and lives.

 

You can all help change the world.

 

With your elevated actions, I believe that we can persevere over COVID-19, rebuild global leadership, and achieve the UN SDGs through cooperation and partnership—in Korea, in Asia, and in the wider world.

 

This is our shared future destiny for the next 100 years and beyond; one rooted in security, sustainability, good health, and prosperity for all.

 

I thank you for your attention and efforts to this end. /END/

Below is the full script of Chairman Ban Ki-moon’s speech.

Thank you for your warm introduction.

Honorable Park Byung-seok, Chairman of the National Assembly,

H.E. George W. Bush, former President of the United States,

President Bang Sang-hoon of the Chosun Ilbo,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great honor to speak to you today as part of the 2020 Asian Leadership Conference.

 

And it is my privilege to deliver these remarks at such an important juncture for us all. Indeed, we currently stand on the precipice of a period of great change; one that will have profound implications for Asia, the world, and our planet.

 

My sincere appreciation goes to The Chosun Ilbo for their hard work in making this timely Conference a success, as well as for extending an invitation to me to deliver these remarks alongside so many distinguished thought-leaders.

 

Also, I extend my appreciation to the eminent Knowledge Partner organizations from Korea, the US, China, and India who have provided vital support for this world class event.

 

I’m simply honored to have the opportunity to address high-level leaders in government, business, academia, civil society, and talented young people like you today.

 

You have all come together under the theme of “the World After the Coronavirus: Rebuilding Global Leadership for the Next 100 years,” with the recognition that we need elevated leadership for our societies to flourish in a globalized world coping with decidedly global challenges.

 

Now more than ever before, the world needs dynamic and forward-thinking leadership synergizing cooperation and partnership to confront the pressing challenges we face. This is particularly true in regards to building back better post-COVID-19, and taking firm action on climate change.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We are currently living through a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic that has upended our daily lives, health systems, economies, interpersonal relationships, and societies.

 

Our planet is on fire—both literally and figuratively with the climate crisis deepening as temperatures surge, sea levels rise, and wildfires burn. Wars and conflict continue to kill civilians, and the scourge of nuclear weapons continues to pose an existential threat to human security.

 

Technological innovation is rapidly altering our lives; bringing us closer together, but also inciting division, extremism, and misinformation in our societies.

 

And we have recently witnessed tens of millions of people in the US, Europe, and all around the world take to the streets to protest injustice, corruption, and inequality.

 

Under this backdrop of COVID-19, security threats, environmental crisis, and dizzying change, we have also made progress in key areas, and I am confident that we have invaluable opportunities to change the world for the better.

 

But to do so, we need to come together in much greater solidarity and unity. We must rebuild global leadership and help advance energetic cooperation and innovate partnerships, both within national borders and across oceans and seas.

 

Today, I will speak to you about how we can achieve this and forge ahead in this era of increased global uncertainty.

 

First, I will highlight the importance of reconstructing global leadership to persevere over COVID-19.

 

Second, I will underline the utility of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) in bringing us together, boosting inclusion, and helping us build back better.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our common global reality in unprecedented ways. At the moment, there are over 50 million total cases and over 1.2 million global deaths.

 

This pandemic has underlined the great need for unified global leadership and a strong multilateral response.

 

Unfortunately, we are lacking both at such a critical time.

 

Indeed, in the last nine months we have witnessed a major failure in global leadership in responding to COVID-19 and minimizing its spread.

 

This is primarily a result of nationalism being the default configuration and great power politics having largely supplanted multilateral cooperation over recent years.

 

The US and China are engaged in a detrimental blame game instead of working together for the greater good.

 

And US leadership on the global stage has been virtually non-existent under President Trump over the last four years.

 

At the same time, the divided UN Security Council was shamefully slow to address COVID-19 and its major implications for global security.

 

Under this troubling backdrop, it is clear that we must rebuild global leadership to defeat this pandemic.

 

To holistically respond to COVID-19 and other major global challenges such as our deepening climate crisis, we must reinvigorate global leadership to expand multilateral cooperation, innovation, and partnership.

 

We are all in this together, and only as strong as our weakest health system.

 

Leaders must prepare for future pandemics as we combat this one, share best practices, and urgently restore global cooperation to persevere over the global threats we face.

 

We are still at an early stage of the pandemic and nationalist isolationism simply won’t help any recoveries.

 

Indeed, this virus does not respect borders; nor does the expanding climate crisis.

 

But there may now be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. In this regard, I take this opportunity to warmly welcome the results of the recently held US election and congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.

 

I am of the view that this result is a clear victory not only for the restoration of American leadership at a crucial juncture, but for multilateralism and global cooperation more largely.

 

Indeed, during his first address as President-elect this past Saturday, Mr. Biden delivered a deeply meaningful and important speech that emphasized some of the very same themes that all global leaders should seek to revitalize during this incredibly important time for all people and our planet.

 

These themes included defending democracy, returning to decency, leading with compassion, elevating cooperation, healing division, prioritizing justice, enhancing national security, mobilizing science, spreading faith, battling for the climate, and broadening prosperity for all.

 

As UN Secretary-General, I had the opportunity to work closely with President-elect Biden during his time serving as Vice President in the Obama Administration.

 

I believe that his election gives the US a vital opportunity to reestablish the quintessential American leadership values that have inspired so many around the world.

 

These include championing freedom and democracy, protecting human rights, and strengthen key alliances and strategic relationships in both the Pacific and Atlantic.

 

I also believe his election provides both the US and the larger world with a meaningful impetus to elevate the requisite leadership to decisively tackle both the ongoing pandemic and the climate crisis when it is most needed.

 

Regarding COVID-19, this includes reestablishing the US relationship with the World Health Organization, deploying a necessary science and evidence-based virus response, and aggressively increasing testing and tracing.

 

On climate issues, I am very elated that Mr. Biden has promised to return the US to the Paris Climate Agreement on day 1, invest $2 trillion to combat and adapt to climate change, and establish net-zero emissions by 2050. Such leadership will also help elevate action on sustainable development.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As the former UN Secretary-General, I am incredibly proud to have brought the entire world together in cooperation to agree to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Adopted by 193 countries in New York in 2015, the SDGs offer us a way forward to solve some of the most critical issues of our time.

 

These include poverty and hunger, public health, education, inequality, peace and justice, climate change, and gender equality.

 

Five years since their adoption, the SDGs have made tangible progress on bettering maternal mortality rates, combatting poverty and hunger, and improving the quality of water and sanitation.

 

But progress is uneven on others and COVID-19, conflict, and climate change are all leading to troubling reversals in SDGs implementation on the ground.

 

As such, we need to move forward with a renewed sense of urgency with only 10 years left to go.

 

We also need reinvigorated global leadership to hit SDG targets and integrate them alongside our global socio-economic recovery from this pandemic.

 

In this connection, I believe that the US electoral results will also go a long way in catalyzing enhanced cooperative and partnership action for global sustainable development.

 

Indeed, to achieve the SDGs, we need an “all hands-on deck” approach where everyone joins together in multi-stakeholder partnership to harness the ownership and active participation from all sectors of every society.

 

National ownership is also a crucial prerequisite to achieve the SDGs.

 

In this regard, governments around the world must continue mainstreaming the SGDs into key planning and policies at all levels, including the local and municipal levels, to give us the best chance of success.

 

This will help instill a strong sense of collaboration and solidarity; both within and beyond cities and national borders.

 

And cities, particularly, are integral to the ultimate success of the SDGs as urbanization rapidly continues.

 

Consider the fact that more than one hundred million people are moving to cities each year, and four hundred million people are projected to add to urban populations in the near future.

 

According to the UN, 68% of the world’s population is slated to live in urban areas by 2050.

 

With this in mind, global partnerships, including the active participation of countries, the private sector, cities, think tanks, women, academia, the youth, and other key stakeholders like you are necessary if we are to achieve the SDGs.

 

This will help synergize leadership, ownership, participation, and involvement from all people and all sectors of all societies.

 

I firmly believe that achieving the SDGs can help bring us together in this era of expanding pandemic and uncertainty.

 

They offer us a viable road map to help rebuild our societies back better—and greener—from the pandemic.

 

Simultaneously, the SDGs also can also help pave the path to greater security, inclusion, sustainability, and prosperity.

 

They can help construct healthy societies, fortify resilience to climate change, and bring us all together to innovate, collaborate, and take action to persevere over the global challenges we face in our interconnected world.

 

In this regard, I believe that the enhanced global leadership of the UN will also be essential in the construction and maintenance of the post-COVID-19 world.

 

To lead the world on a brighter path and help create the future we want, the UN must leverage its unique strengths and convening power.

 

Under the banner of reinvigorated multilateralism and achieving the SDGs, UN leadership can help us build back in a more sustainable and inclusive way from COVID-19.

 

Indeed, we currently have a generational opportunity to build transformationally forward, boost inclusion, and advance urgent action on combating climate change.

 

This will help steer our planet and humanity towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

 

The UN, revitalized through the refreshed global leadership and international cooperation of its Member States and other partners, can harness this pandemic as a gateway to a brighter world.

 

And doing so will be advantageous to countries as well.

 

In this connection, I believe that states prioritizing sustainability, healthy and resilient societies, and net-zero emissions alongside the transition to green economies will gain leadership and immense competitive advantages in our post-COVID world.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly clear that a new direction centered on health, sustainability, security, inclusivity, and prosperity is greatly needed.

 

To move in this direction, the dignity, rights, and well-being of all people and our planet must guide a bold paradigm shift towards elevated multilateral cooperation and partnership.

 

Through amplified solidarity and concrete action, I am confident that we can create the future we want, one that is anchored in health, sustainability, and security for all.

 

And you, the distinguished participants at the 2020 Asian Leadership Conference, can help lead these efforts.

 

As such, I humbly call on you to redouble your efforts to enhance leadership, forge dynamic partnerships, collaborate across borders, and scale-up sustainability in your work, communities, and lives.

 

You can all help change the world.

 

With your elevated actions, I believe that we can persevere over COVID-19, rebuild global leadership, and achieve the UN SDGs through cooperation and partnership—in Korea, in Asia, and in the wider world.

 

This is our shared future destiny for the next 100 years and beyond; one rooted in security, sustainability, good health, and prosperity for all.

 

I thank you for your attention and efforts to this end.