Ban Ki-moon, the UN’s secretary general, has called on the international community to work together to tackle issues, from climate change to poverty, to create a sustainable future, in an article.
The article, which has been published in the Guardian, marks the 70th anniversary of the UN but notes there is little time for celebration because of the competing demands and challenges “fuelled by an upsurge in conflict, disease and human suffering”. The secretary general states that these challenges should compel the international community “to step up and provide the leadership needed to tackle them”.
He notes that ebola in west Africa has been a major setback in development, whilst conflicts and extremism pushed the UN’s humanitarian, peacekeeping and diplomatic efforts “to the limit” in 2014. Despite this Ban notes that achievements have been made and calls on the international community to do more and go further in the years ahead.
Ban writes, “In a year marked by turmoil, UN member states have also proposed an initial draft set of sustainable development goals that will anti-poverty efforts for the next generation. Further negotiations will being this month and culminate at a special summit in New York in September with the adoption of a development agenda that can help tackle inequality, empower women and girls and promote shared prosperity.”
This year is also the year when world leaders will meet in Paris to agree a universal climate change treaty, following negotiations in Lima. It is hoped the summit will conclude with a strong agreement that will keep the target of limiting global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels within reach. However, concerns have been raised that it will not got far enough.
Ban concluded, “Ours if the first generation that can end poverty, and the last that can take steps to avoid the worst impact of climate change.
“In this 70th anniversary year in which we renew our commitment to the goals and principles of the UN charter, the international community must rise to the moment.”
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