Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for global leadership dedicated to the common good, which brings nations together to find solutions for a world which is witnessing growing injustice, insecurity and social inequality.
“This is the leadership that created the United Nations and its founding Charter,” said Mr. Ban in a speech on Monday evening at the Atlantic Council Awards Dinner in Washington, where he was presented with the Distinguished International Leadership Award.
“And this is the leadership that will keep its principles alive and strong,” he added. “If I were to speak like an economist, I might say we have an over-supply of problems – and a deficit of solutions. A deficit of leadership.”
The prevailing global state of affairs partly reflected the great changes that are transforming the modern world, with power shifting and the old order breaking down amid uncertainty, the Secretary-General said, adding that he believed the United Nations can, and must, be the solution to the world’s great challenges.
“Engagement through the UN is the way forward – to share the costs and responsibilities of leadership – to uphold universal values – and to steer the world through this Great Transition,” Mr. Ban stated in his speech.
He stressed that the “five imperatives for collective global action” are climate change and sustainable growth and development; conflict prevention and disaster preparedness; ensuring universal human rights; supporting nations in transition to democracy; and giving women and the younger generation greater voice and opportunities.
“As I see it, justice and dignity are not abstractions. They are not mere aspirations. They are rights – the responsibilities of governments to deliver,” Mr. Ban said. “None of these ideas are alien to anyone here this evening. They are core American values – core trans-Atlantic values – increasingly widely shared around the world. Our challenge is to continue to spread these principles – this universal code. And that takes leadership.”