Ban Ki-moon Presses Countries on Sustainable Development, 4 Other 'Imperatives'

In his opening address at the gathering of world leaders in the United States, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon idenfitified five priorities he said the international community should focus on in order to ensure the welfare of future generations.

Promoting sustainable development, preventing and mitigating human rights abuses, natural disasters and conflicts, improving world security, supporting countries in transition, and increasing opportunities available to women and young people are “five imperatives” the international community needs to address urgently, Ban told world leaders attending the 66th U.N. General Assembly at the organizaiton’s headquarters in New York, USA.

“The first and greatest of these is sustainable development — the imperative of the 21st century,” the secretary-general said. “We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”

Ban also called on world leaders to accelerate work toward a binding and legal climate change agreement with ambitious targets, prioritize conflict and abuses mitigation and prevention, support Middle East and North African countries undergoing transition, respond adequately to the crisis in the Horn of Africa, and to focus on harnessing the talents of women and the youth.

The secretary-general also urged countries not to scale back from their financial commitments to the United Nations.

“Today, I ask governments that have traditionally borne the lion’s share of the costs to not flag in their generosity,” he said. “Budgets are tight. Yet we also know that investing through the UN is smart policy. Burden-sharing makes the load lighter. Scaling back is no answer.”

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.