Standing Ovation As Ban Ki Moon Quits As UN Secretary GeneralOutgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a farewell speech on Monday, December 12, said that his tenure as the eight UN scribe was filled with one of the worst challenges for humanity.
Ban, whose speech attracted standing ovation among the 193-Member States of the UN, however, described his 10-year tenure as the greatest honour.
Ban’s speech came after the General Assembly had paid glowing tributes to him.
“Thank you for your very kind words and for your trust. I am deeply moved by your tributes.
“Serving as Secretary-General of this great organisation has been a great privilege for me of a lifetime.
“For the past 10years, I have been honoured to serve alongside the many courageous, dedicated and talented women and men of the United Nations.
“I have seen the power of international cooperation in taking on our most pressing challenges.
“And I have seen the United Nations open its doors wider than ever to civil society and many partners to help us transform our world.
“Together, we have faced years filled with challenge: The worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. Eruptions of conflict and uprisings for freedom.
“Record numbers of people fleeing war, persecution and poverty. Disruptions brought by disease, disasters and a rapidly warming planet.
“This turmoil tested us. Despite huge difficulties, we helped save lives and protect tens of millions,” he said.
Ban said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change ‘’have opened a pathway to a safer, more just and peaceful world for all of us’’.
He said the empowerment of women took great strides during these years, while youth took on new levels of leadership and new mindsets took hold.
“Day by day, brick by brick, we built stronger foundations for peace and progress. Yet, so much suffering and strife endure.
“So many women and children face violence and exploitation. So many people face hatred solely because of who they are.
“And so many problems have proven intractable – none more than the bloodshed in Syria and the upheaval it spawned,” he said.
Ban regretted the millions of people suffering conflicts and climate change around the world.
“As I contemplate how well we have upheld that responsibility across a decade in office, a kaleidoscope of faces is at the forefront of my mind – memories of my visits to the frontlines of human need and the frontiers of human progress.
“I have maintained a focus on people’s dignity and rights – the pillars of our common humanity. I have sought to stand up for the vulnerable and those left behind today.
“And I have tried to be sure that we are doing all we can so that future generations can live in peace.
“Even as I prepare to leave, my heart will stay as it has since I was a child – right here with the United Nations,” he said.
The outgoing scribe expressed confidence in the ability of his successor, António Guterres, to take the UN to a greater height.
“And that heart is greatly comforted knowing that I am passing the baton to Secretary-General António Guterres, a man of integrity and principle
“I have no doubt that he, with his passion and compassion, will successfully navigate many complex challenges and steer the organisation to new and higher heights.
“It has been an honour to serve our United Nations, and work together with you, and for “We the Peoples”.
“I thank you all for your support and your continued commitment to the noble purposes and principles of the United Nations
“Shukran jazeelan, Xie Xie, Thank you very much, Merci beaucoup, Spasiba bolshoye, Muchas gracia, Thank you.”