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Ban Ki-Moon Discusses United Nation's Role in a Changing World

As his term draws to a close, UN Secretary-General visits SIPA to deliver annual Silver Lecture

Inaction in Syria and the resurgence of nationalism in the West has led many to question the relevance of the United Nations in today’s global landscape.

Visiting SIPA to give the annual Gabriel Silver Memorial Lecture, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon argued that, despite its limitations and need for restructuring, the UN still has a vital role to play in addressing global issues such as climate change, economic upheaval, and humanitarian crisis.

In his October 26 address, Ban—who will leave office on January 1 after 10 years as secretary-general—identified the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and the COP21 Paris agreement as major steps forward in addressing these issues.

“The SDGs are the answer and guide to address rising pressures and challenges facing the UN,” he said. “We also have momentum for climate action; no one thought that we would be able to deliver on a climate agreement so fast.”

Originally published by Columbia SIPA's News Center


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