Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2324 (2016) by Acclamation amid Applause, Security Council Pays Tribute to Outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

SC/12626
14 December 2016
7836th Meeting (AM)

Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2324 (2016) by Acclamation amid Applause, Security Council Pays Tribute to Outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Outgoing United Nations Chief Pleads for Council Unity in Upholding Duty to Protect Syrian Civilians

Honouring the eighth United Nations Secretary-General as he prepared to step down on 31 December after a decade at the head of the world body, the Security Council in a special tribute meeting praised Ban Ki-Moon this morning for his dedicated work on behalf of serving “We the people” above any other consideration.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2324 (2016) by acclamation amid applause, the Council paid tribute to the Secretary-General’s exceptional efforts to solve international problems in economic, social, environmental and cultural fields, as well as his endeavours to meet humanitarian needs and to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

Recognizing the Secretary-General’s efforts to initiate reforms and the many proposals that he had made on the restructuring and strengthening of the role and functioning of the United Nations system, the Council also acknowledged his sustained efforts towards finding just and lasting solutions to various disputes and conflicts around the globe.

In his farewell statement to the Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked the Security Council, saying that, during his tenure the Council’s innovative thinking had resulted in over a dozen peacekeeping and special political missions incorporating “novel approaches” to respond to complex situations.  Some of those successes included the “path to stability” found in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.

However, he said his deepest regret on leaving office regarded “the continuing nightmare in Syria”.  The Council was strongest when it was united.  That unity had been demonstrated in the establishment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.  However, when there was a lack of unity, such as in the case of South Sudan, results could be catastrophic, he stressed, pleading with Security Council members to cooperate and fulfil their collective responsibility to protect Syrian civilians.

Expressing the Council’s appreciation, its President for December, Román Oyarzun Marchesi (Spain), highlighted two remarkable successes of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, namely the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.  The Human Rights Council had been created under his leadership, another illustration of his embrace of the cause of human rights.  Underscoring that today’s world was very different from that of ten years ago, he stated, “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.”

The meeting began at 11:04 a.m. and ended at 11:18 a.m.

Summary of Council Tribute

ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain), President of the Security Council for December, expressed on behalf of the Council its profound gratitude for the continuous support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had provided in the discharge of the 15‑nation organ’s primary duty:  the maintenance of international peace and security.  He lauded the perseverance, devotion and flexibility which the Secretary-General had shown, as well as his unrelenting determination to serve “We the people” above any other consideration.

He went on to highlight two remarkable successes, namely the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, both stemming from the Secretary-General’s diplomatic acumen.  Mr. Ban had also embraced the cause of human rights.  Under his leadership, the Human Rights Council and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) had been established, along with the appointment of the first Special Envoy on Youth. 

Mr. Ban had not only worked tirelessly to ensure that humanitarian aid reached those who needed it most, but had been at the forefront of placing the issue of refugees and migrants at the heart of the international community’s concerns, he continued.  As well, under the Secretary-General’s leadership, the United Nations had undertaken multiple reforms, including the three reviews carried out in 2015 on peace operations, peacebuilding architecture and on the women, peace and security agenda.  In addition, his determination in launching the zero tolerance policy with respect to sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers was much appreciated.

“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,” he said, 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.”

Statement by Secretary-General

BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, thanked the Security Council, saying that, during his tenure, he had witnessed first‑hand the Council’s capacity for innovative thinking.  Over a dozen peacekeeping and special political missions established in the past ten years had incorporated “novel approaches” to respond to complex situations, he said, singling out successes such as “the path to stability” found in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.  The Council had also consolidated the normative framework in relation to cross‑cutting items, he said, highlighting its mainstreaming of women and peace and security in its agenda, as well as the progress made in addressing sexual violence in conflict.

While reform of the Security Council continued to be discussed in intergovernmental negotiations, its flexibility, transparency and efficiency had increased, he continued.  He urged the Council to continue its work to advance not just early warning but early action, including through a greater focus on human rights and the deeper involvement of civil society.  The Council was strongest when it was united.  Such examples of that unity included the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nation Joint Investigative Mechanism for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, as well as the Council’s authorization of a mission to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Where unity was lacking, such as on Western Sahara, the consequences could be profound, and in the case of South Sudan they could be catastrophic.  However, he said that he reserved his deepest regret on leaving office for the continuing nightmare in Syria, pleading with Security Council members to cooperate and fulfil their collective responsibility to protect Syrian civilians.  Thanking the Council for supporting him and “our indispensable Organization”, he emphasized that the Council held the key to peace and progress for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2324 (2016) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recognizing the central role that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has played in guiding the Organization in the discharge of his responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations,

“Further recognizing his sustained efforts towards finding just and lasting solutions to various disputes and conflicts around the globe,

Commending the reforms that he has initiated and the many proposals that he has made on the restructuring and strengthening of the role and functioning of the United Nations system,

“1.   Acknowledges the contribution of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to international peace, security and development, his exceptional efforts to solve international problems in economic, social, environmental and cultural fields, as well as his endeavours to meet humanitarian needs and to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all;

“2.   Expresses its deep appreciation to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his dedication to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter and to the development of friendly relations among nations.”

For information media. Not an official record.