Ban Ki-moon conferred honor, addresses Senate

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Ban Ki-moon conferred honor, addresses Senate
Former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon is welcomed to the Senate by its President Juan Miguel Zubiri and President Pro-Tempore Loren Legarda yesterday. The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution honoring the global contributions of the South Korean diplomat, who also served as the eighth secretary general of the UN General Assembly.
Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — Former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon called for unity, for nations to come together in cooperation, partnership and solidarity and to redouble efforts to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Visiting the Senate, Ban said he was “honored and very humbled” to address the chamber, led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

The Senate unanimously adopted Senate Resolution 929 honoring the global contributions of the South Korean diplomat, who also served as the 8th secretary-general of the UN General Assembly.

“I am deeply grateful for this esteemed honor and very humbled by the unique opportunity afforded to me to deliver a few words. Indeed, it is incredibly meaningful for me to be here in Manila and be recognized by Senate Resolution 929, which honors and comments the global contribution made during my tenure as the secretary general of the United Nations during my tenure of 10 years, 2007 until 2016,” he added.

Ban, who will be in the Philippines for the Asian Development Bank’s Eminent Speakers’ Forum, presently chairs the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future, the Boao Forum for Asia, the Global Center on Adaptation and the Global Green Growth Institute among others.

He served as secretary general of the UN for two consecutive terms, from 2007 to 2016. Ban was last in the Philippines in December 2013, visiting Typhoon Yolanda-hit Tacloban.

Legarda expressed the “profound sense of the Senate” in honoring Ban and commending his “outstanding global contributions.”

“The Philippine Senate, with deep respect and administration, acknowledges the exceptional contributions of Mr. Ban Ki-moon in shaping the global landscape,” the resolution stated.

Zubiri said, “We are very honored to be welcoming former secretary-general Ban Ki-moon for this historic visit to the Senate.”

“The visionary leadership of the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations advocated and mobilized world leaders and parliaments for the adoption of various landmark projects, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, highlighting the importance of collective action to address poverty, hunger, inequality, climate crisis and other pressing issues facing humanity,” the resolution stated.

Legarda said the former UN secretary-general also actively engaged in decisive efforts to address climate change, wherein one of his first major initiatives was the 2007 Climate Change Summit, which highlighted his leadership in particular, during the lead-up to the 2015 Paris Agreement, a landmark accord bringing nations together for collective action to combat climate change and limit global temperature rise.

As a staunch advocate for gender equality, Legarda said Ban pioneered the creation of UN Women, resulting in the increase of the number of women employed within the UN. He likewise actively supported the HeForShe campaign initiative as the first to declare “I am HeForShe” during the launch of the global campaign, the resolution further stated.

“As a global leader, Ban played a crucial role in strengthening UN peace efforts by overseeing various peacekeeping missions, contributing to conflict resolution and fostering peace and stability in regions afflicted with unrest,” the resolution added.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros said, “And I say this with a big smile, but at the same time, it’s also a warning. We only have six years; 2030 is six years from now. And all of these goals were established precisely to push us, to push the leadership of every country towards that direction, to attain the goals that were set because these goals will really set the minimum standard, Mr. President, the minimum standard of decent life that we all aspire for in our respective countries.”

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