24 October 2007 The world is moving in favour of the United Nations but the Organization must strengthen its ability to produce results in the areas of peace and security, development and human rights, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today in his first message to mark UN Day.
“More people and governments understand that multilateralism is the only path in our interdependent and globalizing world,” Mr. Ban said in his message. “Global problems demand global solutions – and going it alone is not a viable option.”
Noting that the demands on the UN “are growing every day,” the Secretary-General pledged to ensure that the UN makes progress on the most pressing current issues. He cited conflict prevention and peacebuilding, disarmament and non-proliferation, climate change, human rights and reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“We will be judged in the future on the actions we take today – on results. On this United Nations Day, let us rededicate ourselves to achieving them.”
Mr. Ban – who assumed the post of Secretary-General on 1 January this year – said he would work with Member States and civil society worldwide to ensure that the UN can play the fullest role possible in conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
He also pledged to mobilize political will on the key questions of aid, trade and debt relief to help poor nations reach the MDGs, the series of eight anti-poverty targets which world leaders have vowed to try to attain by 2015.
“And I will continue to do all I can to galvanize global and decisive action on climate change,” he said, adding that the UN was the natural forum for building international consensus among both rich and poor countries on how to respond to the phenomenon.
Turning to human rights, Mr. Ban said he would try to translate the “responsibility to protect” concept from word into deed to make certain that there is timely action whenever populations face the threat of genocide, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity.
To achieve all of these tasks, the Secretary-General stressed the need to “transform the UN itself. We must adapt to meet new needs, and ensure the highest standard of ethics, integrity and accountability, so as to demonstrate that we are fully answerable to all Member States and to people around the world.”