Sustainable development has been a priority for Ban Ki-moon since he became United Nations Secretary-General on 1 January 2007. One of his first major initiatives was the 2007 Climate Change Summit, followed by extensive diplomatic efforts that have helped put the issue at the forefront of the global agenda. The Millennium Development Goals, that is, the 2000-2015 efforts to focus on the world’s main anti-poverty targets, have generated more than $60 billion in pledges from governments, nonprofits and the private sector.

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of 17 bold new Global Goals, which Mr. Ban hailed as a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.

“The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere. It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms – an agenda for the planet, our common home.”

November 2016

Secretary-General’s remarks to the press at COP22

"I will never cease, even after my retirement, to work with the United Nations and my colleagues, and world leaders to make sure that this climate change agreement is in full implementation," Ban said.

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UN calls for strong climate action as Paris Agreement enters into force

Meeting with civil society representatives, the Secretary-General said, “I ask each and every one of you to keep up the fight. Hold governments accountable and press for action.”

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October 2016

Global Goals can ‘propel us towards a better future for all on a healthy planet,’ Ban says on UN Day

Mr. Ban said that major progress has been made towards a more sustainable future through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement on climate change.

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“Take strong ownership” of a “vital” new development agenda, Secretary-General urges mayors across the world

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged mayors across the world to “take strong ownership” of a new global agenda for sustainable development in the towns and cities they represent.

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UN, private sector to create platform for financing SDGs

"This global initiative can support the identification and piloting of innovative finance instruments that can drive investment and support well thought-out SDG interventions," Ban Ki-moon said.

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomes India to the Paris Agreement

India’s leadership builds on the continued strong political momentum from Paris for urgent global action on climate change

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September 2016

Media advisory: First anniversary of SDGs to be marked at General Assembly

Over 140 world leaders to gather in New York as UN marks first year anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals
19-23 September, UN Headquarters in New York
Since the unanimous adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the […]

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Ban stresses importance of funding for SDGs, climate action at G20 Summit

“Implementing the 2030 Agenda will strengthen our collective ability to address short-term risks and build long-term resilience," Ban said.

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In historic ceremony, Ban commends China, US for formally joining Paris Agreement

"You have added powerful momentum to the drive for the Agreement to enter into force this year,” the UN chief said in a ceremony in China.

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August 2016

Ban urges all to build on sustainable development effects of Rio Olympics

Ban Ki-moon congratulates Brazil, the city of Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian people, the Rio 2016 Local Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a successful games.

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‘We cannot and will not leave anyone behind,’ Ban says on World Humanitarian Day

“World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering,” said Mr. Ban in his message on the Day."

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July 2016

Press Release: UN Secretary-General invites all Member States to event on 21 September aimed at accelerating Paris Agreement entry into force

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from all countries to attend a special event on 21 September to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The event will also provide an opportunity to other countries to publicly commit to joining or ratifying the agreement before the end of 2016.

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In Kenya, Ban calls for broader partnerships, sustainable investments to drive global development

At a United Nations intergovernmental forum opening in Nairobi, Kenya, today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged participants to focus on strong collaboration, equality and inclusion in trade, finance and investment in order to better align action with agreed-upon sustainable development targets and help restore trust in the global economy.

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June 2016

In Cannes, Ban pitches ad agencies on Global Goals, announces ‘Common Ground’ partnership

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on advertising and creative communication professionals to wage “the biggest-ever campaign for humanity” by supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a 15-year anti-poverty, pro-planet action plan, adopted by 193 Member States last year.

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Letters to Ban Ki-moon: Fifth-graders write about climate change

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been very busy, but not too busy to make time to meet the fifth graders who wrote to him asking him to find solutions to the universal challenge of climate […]

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‘Audacious’ Solar Impulse airplane showcases power of clean energy

Calling it an "audacious, historic and transformative expedition," Ban Ki-moon visited the Solar Impulse aircraft as it awaited the next leg of its worldwide, solar-powered journey.

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UN Secretary-General to Visit Solar Impulse at JFK Airport

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will meet with the pilots and founders of the Solar Impulse, the first solar plane capable of flying day and night without using a drop of fuel that is attempting to circumnavigate the globe, on Monday, 13 June, during the expedition’s stopover in New York City.

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May 2016

#WildForLife campaign seeks to mobilize millions to end illegal wildlife trade

The UN, backed by A-list celebrities from across the globe, launched an unprecedented campaign against the illegal trade in wildlife, which is pushing species to the brink of extinction, robbing countries of their natural heritage and profiting international criminal networks.

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Ban: UN humanitarian summit to ‘shape a different future’

“We are all here because global humanitarian action is unprecedentedly strained,” the UN Secretary-General said at the World Humanitarian Summit opening ceremony.

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March 2016

UN Secretary-General appoints Red from the Angry Birds as Honorary Ambassador for Green on the International Day of Happiness

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon honoured with ‘Delivering for Girls and Women’ Award

The first-ever ‘Delivering for Girls and Women’ award was given today to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in recognition of his work and achievements to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide.

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February 2016

Displaced people need more opportunities, Ban says at camp in DR Congo

"We have to do much more to protect human dignity and human rights of women and girls to save them, to protect them from sexual violence," Mr. Ban said.

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Ban: 2016 must be ‘year of traction’ to propel 2030 Agenda

“We have to make things move - rolling traction,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Commission for Social Development.

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With focus on cervical cancer, Ban says where people live should not determine chances of survival

Ban Ki-moon called to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health issue while also reducing the burden that millions face from all cancers.

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Visiting drought-hit region of Ethiopia, Ban urges support

The international community must stand with the people of Ethiopia in their time of need, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, urging donors gathered in Addis Ababa to step up assistance to the country, before heading […]

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January 2016

Ban: Global investors must play full role in shift to clean energy

More than 500 global investors gathered at UN Headquarters to mobilize the trillions of dollars needed to move the world onto the path of clean energy, with Ban Ki-moon challenging them to, at a minimum, double clean energy investments to $660 billion by 2020.

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Ban calls strongly on governments to ‘leave no one behind’

In Zurich, Ban Ki-moon urged governments to show strong ownership in the 2030 Agenda by aligning policies, legislation and resources so that people and the planet can benefit.

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Ban announces High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment

Ban Ki-moon announced the first-ever panel to provide leadership and mobilize concrete actions aimed at closing economic gender gaps that persist around the world.

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World of business must play part in achieving SDGs, Ban says

“I ask all the CEOs here today to help us. Your advocacy and example can drive action to achieve a life of dignity for all people,” Ban Ki-moon told business leaders at an event on the Global Compact in Davos, Switzerland.

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Secretary-General appoints advocates to build widespread support for the Sustainable Development Goals

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of a group of eminent persons to assist in the campaign to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that world leaders unanimously adopted last September.

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Ban: Sustainable energy can ‘save millions of lives’

Millions of lives can be saved by ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed at the World Future Energy Summit taking place in the United Arab Emirates.

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UN must get ‘priorities right’ in 2016, Ban tells Member States

Sharing his thoughts on the direction of the UN’s work in 2016, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the global community begins the year needing to get its “priorities right,” while underlining that more and better work needs to be done.

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December 2015

Sustainable Development Goals kick off with start of new year

On 1 January, the United Nations officially will usher in an even more ambitious set of goals to banish a whole host of social ills by 2030.

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Ban urges greater collaborative action to tackle crises in 2016

As 2015 draws to a close, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon summed up the “pivotal year” in which the Organization marked its 70th anniversary by highlighting landmark steps taken to advance sustainable development, climate action, […]

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At end of International Year of Soils, UN chief appeals for reverse in rate of soil degradation

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is marking the second World Soil Day and the end of the International Year of Soils with an appeal to reverse the current rate of soil degradation because of expanding cities, deforestation, unsustainable land use and management practices, pollution, overgrazing and climate change.

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Ban delivers favourable report card on early-stage talks at Paris climate summit

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a favourable report card today to the early stages of the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris, while at the same time urging both developed and developing countries to do more to reach universal agreement to mitigate the threat.

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UN report identifies innovative ways to boost investment for climate action in cities

Proven innovative policies and mechanisms are unlocking investment for much-needed climate-smart infrastructure in cities, according to a new report being launched today in Paris, France by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and international partners.

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On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, UN urges inclusion, access for people of all abilities

The United Nations is marking this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities today with the theme “inclusion matters” to raise awareness and mobilize support for some one billion people living with disabilities who remain one of the most marginalized groups in the world.

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November 2015

UN Secretary-General’s initiative aims to strengthen climate resilience of the world’s most vulnerable countries and people

UN Secretary-General’s Initiative Aims to Strengthen Climate Resilience of the World’s Most Vulnerable Countries and People

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On eve of UN climate conference, Ban says ‘time for action is now’

On the eve of the opening in Paris of the United Nations climate change conference, widely known as COP21, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging all countries and all sectors of society to act now to […]

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Secretary-General calls on countries to keep development assistance commitments

With the world facing the largest crisis of forced displacement since the Second World War, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the international community to meet this immense challenge without lessening its commitment to vitally needed official development assistance.

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October 2015

In Peru, UN chief meets with World Bank, highlighting its ‘major role’ in sustainable development

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the important role of the World Bank Saturday in the implementation of the adopted 2030 Agenda, noting that it could “step up capacity building and the mobilization of resources for sustainable development by drawing on its rich technical expertise.”

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Pacific islands play vital role in advancing action on climate change, Ban tells leaders

Located on the frontlines of climate change, Pacific island nations have a crucial role to play in efforts to advance a sustainable future, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the region’s leaders as they met today at United Nations Headquarters.

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September 2015

Ahead of Sustainable Development Summit, UN Secretariat building lights up to showcase sustainable development goals

Ahead of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit from 25-27 September, and to mark the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations, a 10-minute film introducing the sustainable development goals was projected onto the United Nations Headquarters last night.

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July 2015

Addis Ababa Action Agenda ”major step forward” towards dignity for all – Ban

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated countries on the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action agenda, calling it a "major step forward in building a world of prosperity and dignity for all."

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Lessons from Millennium Development Goals ‘springboard’ for future UN agenda – Ban

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) galvanized the world to produce the most successful anti-poverty movement in history, helped lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, made inroads against hunger and enabled more girls to attend school than ever before.

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Countries Advance Agreement on New Ways to Finance Bold New Sustainable Development Agenda

Countries advanced negotiations this week for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development with broad agreement on a range of actions they will undertake to finance a new global sustainable development agenda.

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‘We can be the first generation that ends poverty’ Ban Ki-moon

This piece was first published by The Guardian.

An African proverb teaches that “fine words do not produce food”. That wise counsel is foremost in my mind as leaders gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a […]

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Education ‘essential to vision of a life of dignity for all,’ says Ban at Norway summit

The Oslo Summit on Education for Development is a chance to reaffirm the human right to education, an opportunity to mobilize political commitment, and “our moment” to galvanize international support for education, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared today in Norway, where he has been attending a number of high-level events over the past two days.

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June 2015

Ban welcomes new post-2020 climate targets submitted by China and Republic of Korea

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today's formal submission of post-2020 climate change targets or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) by both the China and the Republic of Korea.

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At Stanford University, Ban says UN ready to build a better future for all

The United Nations and the international community are experiencing an age of great difficulties and opportunities which will help define the future of the planet, Ban Ki-moon declared in a wide-ranging address that touched upon the myriad common challenges – from climate change to sustainable development – currently facing humanity.

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On UN Charter Day, Ban calls for ‘deeper cooperation’ amid growing global challenges

On June 26th, 1945, the United Nations was born from the ashes and rubble of the Second World War as delegates from fifty nations came together to sign the UN Charter – the Organization's founding document and the bedrock of global peace and development.

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‘Business can be a global force for good,’ Bans says as General Assembly honours UN Global Compact

The business community and the private sector can make a difference as United Nations Member States are in the process of formulating a new sustainability agenda, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said at the General Assembly, which was meeting to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the UN Global Compact.

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Welcoming progress towards MDGs, Ban encourages Uzbekistan to promote human rights

Continuing his visit to Central Asia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed Uzbekistan for the solid progress it achieved towards the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, in reducing poverty and maternal mortality, ensuring universal access to primary education, while recalling that there can be no peace and development without human rights.

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In Tajikistan, UN chief highlights importance of safe water, sanitation and human rights

Kicking off a high-level event on water in Tajikistan today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged nations in the region and beyond to renew their commitment to safe water and sanitation as the international community forges ahead with the post-2015 development agenda and climate change intensifies the need to act.

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INTERVIEW: Heading to Central Asia, UN chief pledges to promote ‘common response’ to region’s diverse challenges

Aiming to support and promote a common response to the many cross-border challenges Central Asia faces – from environmental degradation to drug trafficking and water scarcity – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is heading to the region this week for meetings in which he will also touch on key UN priorities, such as ensuring sustainable development and tackling climate change.

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U.N. chief: We can end poverty, hunger

This year offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put our world on more peaceful, sustainable and equitable footing. When they meet at the Schloss Elmau Summit in Germany on June 7-8, G7 leaders can show they are serious about seizing the moment and protecting people and the planet.

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May 2015

In Seoul, Ban spotlights role of young people and technology in future development agenda

Continuing his official visit to Republic of Korea, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at two forums today highlighted the importance of youth, education and information communication technologies (ICTs) in shaping the future sustainable development agenda.

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In Republic of Korea, UN’s Ban says education key for global peace and stability

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has returned to his native Republic of Korea (ROK) for the first time in two years in order to attend a series of international events, including a critical summit on education and development, the United Nations confirmed today.

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Leaders gather at Vatican for historic meeting on climate change and sustainable development

On 28 April, the Secretary-General met with His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican and later addressed senior religious leaders, along with the Presidents of Italy and Ecuador, Nobel laureates and leading scientists on climate change and sustainable development.

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April 2015

At Vatican meeting, UN chief and Pope Francis discuss climate change, Mediterranean migration

During a meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he very much looked forward to the Pontiff’s encyclical on climate change, which he said he believed would act as a moral voice on the issue.

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At Americas Summit in Panama, Ban urges nations to pursue prosperity with equality

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in an address in Panama to the seventh Summit of the Americas, commended the hemisphere's commitment to peace, democracy, human rights and sustainable development, while urging leaders to continue to pursue a future of prosperity with equality, where no one is left behind.

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Over 100 mayors adopt declaration to combat climate change, support sustainable cities

More than 100 Mayors and elected leaders have committed to making their cities sustainable with the adoption of the “Seoul Declaration,” which was adopted today during the ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) World Congress in the capital […]

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At thematic debate, UN chief urges efficient private sector funding for post-2015 development

The international community needs a financial framework capable of confronting the multifaceted crises of the day in a predictable and effective manner if it is to delineate a successful post-2015 sustainable development agenda, United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed.

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March 2015

On International Day, UN chief calls for efforts to ‘fill world with happiness’

Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, as the Organization kicked-off its global celebrations marking the annual observance of the International Day of Happiness.

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As UN steps up aid efforts, Ban promises ‘necessary action’ to assist cyclone-hit Vanuatu

With United Nations relief agencies stepping up their response in Vanuatu after the country was hit by Cyclone Pam, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that the event “tragically underscored” the importance of global efforts on disaster risk reduction.

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Ban praises Sendai earthquake recovery as model for turning tragedy of disaster into sustainable future

Integrating disaster risk reduction into development can save lives and livelihoods, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he toured Sendai, Japan, which was devastated four years ago by an earthquake and tsunami but which today, following an impressive rebuilding effort, is a reminder to the world that “we must turn all of the painful lessons of disasters into new policies for a better future.”

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In Japan, UN chief urges global solidarity to strengthen disaster resilience, boost development

With global leaders gathered in Sendai, Japan, to agree a new framework for managing disaster risk which will reduce mortality and curb economic losses, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today declared that responding to the world''s growing needs requires empowering individuals, supporting communities and backing promises with resources.

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UN Secretary-General receives winning “climate” artwork by student from Trinidad and Tobago

A vibrant vision of a future powered by the sun painted by 17-year-old Coryse Wright was the winning artwork recently presented to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon by H.E. Eden Charles, Charge d’Affaires a.i. […]

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Gender equality vital for world to fulfill potential, Ban tells thousands at women’s march in New York

Thousands of people gathered today in New York to march from United Nations headquarters to Times Square in commemoration of International Women's Day and to demand greater efforts by Governments to achieve gender equality worldwide.

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UN Secretary-General: World threatened by dangerous and unacceptable levels of risk from disasters

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today warned that “growing global inequality, increasing exposure to natural hazards, rapid urbanization and the overconsumption of energy and natural resources threaten to drive risk to dangerous and unpredictable levels with […]

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February 2015

In Paraguay, UN chief says 2015 a ‘pivotal year’ for international community

In an intensive year of landmark events – from establishing a post-2015 agenda to tackling climate change – Paraguay has yet another opportunity to demonstrate its “exceptional global leadership” in the international arena, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has affirmed.

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In Paraguay, UN chief sets sights on post-2015 development agenda

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the Government of Paraguay to join forces with the United Nations and forge ahead in framing the post-2015 agenda for a new generation of sustainable development goals, noting that the country had “an important role to play across the board.”

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2015 pivotal for finalizing universal climate change agreement, Ban tells Member States

This year is pivotal for global action on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today in New York, emphasising that all the major advances of 2014 have set the stage for success in 2015.

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New UN sustainability agenda needs low-carbon growth to meet goals, Ban tells Delhi summit

Speaking via video message to the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) of India, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for countries to take a low-carbon approach to development in the coming years.

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Development must be built on inclusive policy aligned with people’s needs, aspirations – Ban

Senior United Nations officials today addressed the Commission for Social Development as it marked the 20th anniversary of the Copenhagen Declaration – the outcome of a summit which emphasized, for the first time, the need to put people at the centre of development – with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that the world's current generation is the first able to wipe out extreme poverty and the last that could address the worst impacts of climate change.

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2015 is a chance to change history, Ban tells UN Youth Forum

This generation of young people – the largest the world has ever seen – has a historic opportunity to end poverty, combat climate change, create jobs and fight injustice, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a Youth Forum at UN Headquarters in New York this morning as he called on the participants to get involved in shaping a future sustainable development agenda.

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January 2015

In Davos, Ban urges global action in 2015 on development, gender equality, climate change

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged world leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to maintain their focus on a broad range of climate, development and gender equality issues, warning that as the global community continues to face multiple crises, the new year must be a time for ‘strong commitment’ from international stakeholders.

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In India, Ban pledges UN commitment to Gandhi’s vision of peace, tolerance, dignity for all

Growing radicalization, fundamentalism and extremism demand a renewed emphasis of Mahatma Gandhi's ideals – both spiritual and political, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Gujarat today, pledging the ongoing commitment of the United Nations to promote tolerance, and ensure justice and dignity for all.

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Ban calls on Global Compact to help end poverty, transform lives, protect planet

Addressing the United Nations Global Compact board meeting this afternoon, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said everyone held a stake in ending poverty, transforming people’s lives and protecting the planet.

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2015 can and must be time for global action,’ Ban declares, briefing UN Assembly on year’s priorities

8 January 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looked forward to a “year of opportunity,” as he briefed the 193-Member United Nations General Assembly on his priorities for 2015, and called for transformative global action that would ensure sustainable development and human dignity for all.

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December 2014

On International Day, Ban urges human solidarity to build new sustainability agenda

20 December 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked Human Solidarity Day today by calling for joint action to craft and take forward a new, inlcusive development agenda that eradicates poverty, protects the planet and ensures dignity for all.

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