UN Security Council pays tribute to outgoing Ban Ki-moon

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 15 (APP): In its farewell to the outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Security Council has acknowledged
his contribution to international peace, security and development, in particular his exceptional efforts to solve international problems in economic, social, environmental and cultural fields.

Adopting a resolution by acclamation on Wednesday, the 15-member
Council also acknowledged his endeavours to meet humanitarian needs and  to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental  freedoms for all.

“As Secretary-General, you have succeeded in ensuring that the Organization took advantage of the technological advances and prepared itself to meet the challenges of continued globalization, technological change and emerging new threats,” Roman Oyarzun Marchesi of Spain, who  is the President of the Council for December, underscoring that  today’s world was very different from that of ten years ago. Quoting  Miguel de Cervantes, he added: “Good deeds never lack a reward.”

Marchesi went on to highlight Ban’s remarkable successes, namely
the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate
Change, as well as the establishment of the Human Rights Council and
the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known as UN-Women, along with the appointment of the first Special Envoy on  Youth.

In a similar resolution earlier this week, the General Assembly  paid a tribute to Ban for his “never-tiring service to humanity” over  the past decade.

In response to the Council action, Ban expressed gratitude for  the opportunity to have served the United Nations over the past ten  years.

He spoke of the Council’s successes, including its decision  to establish the Force Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic  of the Congo, the integral role of the United Nations in securing peace in Nepal, particularly during its 2008 election, as well as  creating greater stability in Ivory Coast and Liberia.

He also highlighted a stronger partnership with the African Union  and mainstreaming women, peace, and security into the Council’s agenda,
particularly with regards to its decision to address sexual violence in conflict.

“I encourage the Council to continue its very important work in  this regard and I know that my successor, Antonio Guterres, will be  a most determined ally,” said Ban, who will step down on December 31.

He emphasized that “the Council is strongest when it is united,” citing examples of successful initiatives including the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria and the UN’s emergency response to the  Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Ban noted, however, that a lack of unity has proven to be  profound, even catastrophic in the case of South Sudan.

“However,” he said, “my deepest regret on leaving office is  the continuing nightmare in Syria. I once again plead with all  of you to cooperate and fulfil your collective responsibility  to protect Syrian civilians.”

Throughout the day, Ban participated in events to commemorate  the end of his tenure, including a town hall meeting with UN  staff from around the world, and the unveiling of his portrait  by the Korean artist Lee Won-Hee that will hang alongside those  of his predecessors in the Secretariat lobby.

“I have come to understand our values as a unique and precious  well – the more one draws from it, the deeper it gets. Above all, I  thank all the partners who have made the past ten years full of  meaning and purpose. I salute each and every one of them for the  picture they are painting every day – of a world with more justice,  more dignity, and more opportunity for all,” he said during the  unveiling of his portrait.