INTERVIEW: Making the most impossible job’ a possible mission- Secretary-General Ban Ki-MoonTirus Wainaina
22 December 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s last day in office is 31 December 2016.
That day will be the culmination of a decade of service at the helm of the world body, during which his priorities have been to mobilize world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy and water. In addition, he has sought to be a bridge-builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and to strengthen the Organization itself.
Mr. Ban began his first term as Secretary-General on 1 January 2007, and was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly to a second term on 21 June 2011.
In his last remaining days at UN Headquarters, the Secretary-General spoke with UN News on a range of topics, including his service with the world body, the impact that war had on his decision to pursue a career in public service, and his next steps.
UN News: When the first UN Secretary-General, Trygvie Lie welcomed his successor, Dag Hammarskjöld, to the job, he said: “Welcome, Dag Hammarskjöld, to the most impossible job on this earth.” You’ve been in the job now for almost ten years. What are your thoughts on that description?
Ban Ki-moon: It has been a great privilege for me to serve this great organization. My motto was that I will make this “most impossible job” into a “possible mission.” I have been trying during the last ten years, devoting all my time, passion and energy.