This post has been adapted from a blog post that ran on the UN Foundation blog..
At the end of this year, Ban Ki-moon’s time as Secretary-General of the United Nations will come to a close and António Guterres will begin his tenure in 2017. Here’s a look at the legacy of Secretary-General Ban’s ten years of service as the world’s top diplomat.
Improving women’s and children’s health:
The Secretary-General helped bring more resources, awareness, and action to women’s and children’s health issues through the launch of the Every Woman Every Child movement and the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Last year, the Secretary-General helped launch an updated Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health for the era of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ushering in a new era of sustainable development:
Under the Secretary-General’s leadership, in September 2015, 193 world leaders gathered at the UN and adopted the Sustainable Development Goals — a set of global goals to follow the Millennium Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals provide a blueprint to end poverty, fight inequality, and tackle climate change by 2030.
Promoting human rights:
Secretary-General Ban has been an outspoken leader for the rights of all people, saying, “We declare that human rights are for all of us, all the time.” During his time as Secretary-General, he launched the “Human Rights Up Front” initiative and championed the UN Human Rights Office’s “Free & Equal” campaign, a global public education effort for LGBT equality.
Empowering girls and women:
From advocating for the creation of UN Women to launching efforts to help end violence against women, economically empower women, and engage men in the fight for gender equality, Secretary-General Ban has promoted the rights and well-being of girls and women around the world.
Helping the most vulnerable:
Conflict and disaster have left nearly 130 million people in need around the world, and the Secretary-General has been an advocate for helping the world’s most vulnerable people. From supporting refugees to hosting the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit to addressing peace and security situations, the Secretary-General has worked to focus the world on how we can collectively increase and improve humanitarian response efforts and create a safer world for all.
Engaging young people:
Recognizing the importance of engaging the largest youth generation in history, Secretary-General Ban made it a top priority to work with and for young people, including appointing an Envoy on Youth and supporting 17 “UN Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Text and photos from United Nations Foundation. Learn more about their work here.