No one nation, however large or powerful, can solve all problems on its own, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, stressing that it is vital for countries to work together in partnership to tackle common challenges.
“There is such a thing as the global public good. And for that very reason, we need to think about the issues of global governance needed to manage them,” Mr. Ban told a gathering of government leaders, parliamentarians, and members of civil society and the business community in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein.
“Please do not mistake me: I do not mean global government, or even less a world that takes its orders from UN Headquarters.
“What I mean, quite simply, is sovereign States coming together … pragmatically, as partners. I mean people transcending borders and narrow national identities to defend against common threats – and to seize common opportunities,” he stated.
Mr. Ban noted that the world is undergoing dramatic shifts and transformations. New economic powers have emerged, and complex new challenges have come to the fore.
“All have global reach. And all place new demands on us – on our institutions, mechanisms and frameworks. We need to adapt. We need our global institutions to produce better, quicker, more lasting results.
“We need stronger, more effective alliances between States and the private sector, civil society and regional actors. We need policy guidance and regulatory frameworks for a vast array of new and complex issues.”
Two areas in which he felt better global governance is especially urgent is getting the global economy to work for all the world’s people, as well as advancing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
“A world economy that creates prosperity for all… a world no longer living under the nuclear shadow… these have long been among the main goals of global governance,” he told the audience, which included His Serene Highnesses Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie von und zu Liechtenstein, and Aurelia Frick, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Justice and Culture.
In addition to the economy and disarmament, the world is today facing a “daunting array of new-generation challenges, never seen before,” said the Secretary-General, pointing to issues such as climate change, terrorism and organized crime.
“The imperative of global governance is clear,” he declared.
Mr. Ban also used his speech to congratulate the people of Liechtenstein for 20 years of membership in the UN – an anniversary that the country will mark in less than three weeks.
“Yours may be one of the world’s smaller countries, but its role is large. If all nations were as committed to the United Nations and its noble causes, the world would be a far, far better place.”
He hailed Liechtenstein for being one of the most generous contributors of emergency humanitarian aid, as well as for helping to lead the global campaign to bring those who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice, among other things.
While in Vaduz, the Secretary-General also held talks with Government ministers and met with Prince Hans-Adam II.
Following his visit to Liechtenstein, Mr. Ban will head to Vienna, where his activities will include an anti-corruption conference, the European Forum 2010, a Security Council retreat, and the annual retreat of senior UN officials.