Stal­wart ad­vo­cate of a global cli­mate pact

The Washington Times Daily - - DECADE OF LEADERSHIP: UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY - G - By Strobe Tal­bott Strobe Tal­bott is pres­i­dent of The Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion.

Ban Ki-moon’s sig­na­ture con­tri­bu­tion as sec­re­tary-gen­eral will be his stal­wart ad­vo­cacy of an ef­fec­tive in­ter­na­tional global cli­mate agree­ment. While the bi­lat­eral agree­ment be­tween the United States and China be­fore the Paris sum­mit was a cru­cial break­through, Mr. Ban worked hard and long to pre­pare the ground for mul­ti­lat­eral progress.

In par­tic­u­lar, he made an ef­fec­tive case that the ma­jor economies should act in and through the United Na­tions. His per­sua­sive­ness on that is­sue helped the U.S. and China find com­mon ground, bring­ing 193 other coun­tries into the Paris agree­ment.

Mr. Ban will also be re­mem­bered with grat­i­tude for his role in the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals. He was able to put the U.N. in a stronger po­si­tion than it has been in the past with re­gard to de­vel­op­ment, po­ten­tially leav­ing his suc­ces­sor with more room to tackle the next phase.

These two achieve­ments have in com­mon Mr. Ban’s in­no­va­tive nur­tur­ing of bot­tom-up diplo­macy, thus en­gag­ing po­lit­i­cal buy-in and re­sources from the mem­ber states.

As for the cru­cial busi­ness of pro­mot­ing peace and se­cu­rity, it took Mr. Ban some time to get his foot­ing on what is, of course, treach­er­ous and shift­ing ground. But by the time he did so, he iden­ti­fied the core prob­lems and dili­gently tried to ap­ply ef­fec­tive mea­sures.

While pre­par­ing to leave of­fice, Mr. Ban has sought to erad­i­cate the stain of re­fus­ing to ad­mit re­spon­si­bil­ity for the out­break of cholera in Haiti af­ter the earth­quake. His tar­di­ness in that re­gard was re­gret­table, but he did the right thing in the end. It should also be re­mem­bered that he led a flex­i­ble and as­sertive re­sponse to the earth­quake it­self.

While con­fronting in­her­ited and new chal­lenges, the next sec­re­tary-gen­eral will be grate­ful to Ban Ki-moon for bring­ing a more in­clu­sive set of states and other in­ter­na­tional ac­tors to­gether.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.