Un Secretary General Quotes

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One day the UN Secretary General proposes that, in the interest of global peace and harmony, the world's soccer players should come together and form one United Nations global soccer team. "Great idea," says his deputy. "Er, but who would we play?" "Israel, of course.
Mark Steyn (After America: Get Ready for Armageddon)
If we had started global decarbonization in 2000, when Al Gore narrowly lost election to the American presidency, we would have had to cut emissions by only about 3 percent per year to stay safely under two degrees of warming. If we start today, when global emissions are still growing, the necessary rate is 10 percent. If we delay another decade, it will require us to cut emissions by 30 percent each year. This is why U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres believes we have only one year to change course and get started.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Former UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold may have best summed up the UN's track record and its promise when he said it was created 'not to lead mankind to heaven but to save humanity from hell'" (p. 348).
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
We have no time to lose. We are losing the race against climate change.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres
Despite the UN secretary-general’s grand title, he was named in the UN Charter as the administrator of the organization. For this reason, former secretary-general Kofi Annan described the position as “more secretary than general.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
think of climate change as slow, but it is unnervingly fast. We think of the technological change necessary to avert it as fast-arriving, but unfortunately it is deceptively slow—especially judged by just how soon we need it. This is what Bill McKibben means when he says that winning slowly is the same as losing: “If we don’t act quickly, and on a global scale, then the problem will literally become insoluble,” he writes. “The decisions we make in 2075 won’t matter.” Innovation, in many cases, is the easy part. This is what the novelist William Gibson meant when he said, “The future is already here, it just isn’t evenly distributed.” Gadgets like the iPhone, talismanic for technologists, give a false picture of the pace of adaptation. To a wealthy American or Swede or Japanese, the market penetration may seem total, but more than a decade after its introduction, the device is used by less than 10 percent of the world; for all smartphones, even the “cheap” ones, the number is somewhere between a quarter and a third. Define the technology in even more basic terms, as “cell phones” or “the internet,” and you get a timeline to global saturation of at least decades—of which we have two or three, in which to completely eliminate carbon emissions, planetwide. According to the IPCC, we have just twelve years to cut them in half. The longer we wait, the harder it will be. If we had started global decarbonization in 2000, when Al Gore narrowly lost election to the American presidency, we would have had to cut emissions by only about 3 percent per year to stay safely under two degrees of warming. If we start today, when global emissions are still growing, the necessary rate is 10 percent. If we delay another decade, it will require us to cut emissions by 30 percent each year. This is why U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres believes we have only one year to change course and get started. The scale of the technological transformation required dwarfs any achievement that has emerged from Silicon Valley—in fact dwarfs every technological revolution ever engineered in human history, including electricity and telecommunications and even the invention of agriculture ten thousand years ago. It dwarfs them by definition, because it contains all of them—every single one needs to be replaced at the root, since every single one breathes on carbon, like a ventilator.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Bradshaw. That Dietz would pretend he existed, and got them all those sensational scoops when she knew— That instant, she knew. She felt the goose pimples grow on her arms, and her fingers clenched the steering wheel more tightly as her body went rigid. It was coming to her in a rush, the incredible answers to the questions that she had been asking herself in these last weeks. Like a streak of lightning throwing a bright, stark light on a dark area, illuminating all that had been hidden so long. In those stunning moments of revelation, Victoria could see the whole truth. It was too shocking, even horrifying, to believe, but it was the truth, there could be no other. It was coming to her—who Mark Bradshaw was; why she and Nick had always been sent to scenes where terrorism was about to happen, to file advance background stories where terrorism would occur; how the Record had obtained exclusive stories on the kidnapping of the Spanish king and abduction of the UN secretary-general and theft of the Dead Sea scrolls and murder of the Israeli prime minister and near kidnapping of the Pope in Lourdes; why Carlos was not being picked up and jailed; why she had abruptly been ordered to leave Paris and return to New York.
Irving Wallace (The Almighty)
Roosevelt fought hard for the United States to host the opening session [of the United Nations]; it seemed a magnanimous gesture to most of the delegates. But the real reason was to better enable the United States to eavesdrop on its guests. Coded messages between the foreign delegations and their distant capitals passed through U.S. telegraph lines in San Francisco. With wartime censorship laws still in effect, Western Union and the other commercial telegraph companies were required to pass on both coded and uncoded telegrams to U.S. Army codebreakers. Once the signals were captured, a specially designed time-delay device activated to allow recorders to be switched on. Devices were also developed to divert a single signal to several receivers. The intercepts were then forwarded to Arlington Hall, headquarters of the Army codebreakers, over forty-six special secure teletype lines. By the summer of 1945 the average number of daily messages had grown to 289,802, from only 46,865 in February 1943. The same soldiers who only a few weeks earlier had been deciphering German battle plans were now unraveling the codes and ciphers wound tightly around Argentine negotiating points. During the San Francisco Conference, for example, American codebreakers were reading messages sent to and from the French delegation, which was using the Hagelin M-209, a complex six-wheel cipher machine broken by the Army Security Agency during the war. The decrypts revealed how desperate France had become to maintain its image as a major world power after the war. On April 29, for example, Fouques Duparc, the secretary general of the French delegation, complained in an encrypted note to General Charles de Gaulle in Paris that France was not chosen to be one of the "inviting powers" to the conference. "Our inclusion among the sponsoring powers," he wrote, "would have signified, in the eyes of all, our return to our traditional place in the world." In charge of the San Francisco eavesdropping and codebreaking operation was Lieutenant Colonel Frank B. Rowlett, the protégé of William F. Friedman. Rowlett was relieved when the conference finally ended, and he considered it a great success. "Pressure of work due to the San Francisco Conference has at last abated," he wrote, "and the 24-hour day has been shortened. The feeling in the Branch is that the success of the Conference may owe a great deal to its contribution." The San Francisco Conference served as an important demonstration of the usefulness of peacetime signals intelligence. Impressive was not just the volume of messages intercepted but also the wide range of countries whose secrets could be read. Messages from Colombia provided details on quiet disagreements between Russia and its satellite nations as well as on "Russia's prejudice toward the Latin American countries." Spanish decrypts indicated that their diplomats in San Francisco were warned to oppose a number of Russian moves: "Red maneuver . . . must be stopped at once," said one. A Czechoslovakian message indicated that nation's opposition to the admission of Argentina to the UN. From the very moment of its birth, the United Nations was a microcosm of East-West spying. Just as with the founding conference, the United States pushed hard to locate the organization on American soil, largely to accommodate the eavesdroppers and codebreakers of NSA and its predecessors.
James Bamford (Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency from the Cold War Through the Dawn of a New Century)
Where the parties speak different languages the chance for misinterpretation is compounded. For example, in Persian, the word “compromise” apparently lacks the positive meaning it has in English of “a midway solution both sides can live with,” but has only a negative meaning as in “our integrity was compromised.” Similarly, the word “mediator” in Persian suggests “meddler,” someone who is barging in uninvited. In early 1980 U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim flew to Iran to seek the release of American diplomats being held hostage by Iranian students soon after the Islamic revolution. His efforts were seriously set back when Iranian national radio and television broadcast in Persian a remark he reportedly made on his arrival in Tehran: “I have come as a mediator to work out a compromise.” Within an hour of the broadcast, his car was being stoned by angry Iranians.
Roger Fisher (Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In)
I can hardly believe that our nation’s policy is to seek peace by going to war. It seems that President Donald J. Trump has done everything in his power to divert our attention away from the fact that the FBI is investigating his association with Russia during his campaign for office. For several weeks now he has been sabre rattling and taking an extremely controversial stance, first with Syria and Afghanistan and now with North Korea. The rhetoric has been the same, accusing others for our failed policy and threatening to take autonomous military action to attain peace in our time. This gunboat diplomacy is wrong. There is no doubt that Secretaries Kelly, Mattis, and other retired military personnel in the Trump Administration are personally tough. However, most people who have served in the military are not eager to send our young men and women to fight, if it is not necessary. Despite what may have been said to the contrary, our military leaders, active or retired, are most often the ones most respectful of international law. Although the military is the tip of the spear for our country, and the forces of civilization, it should not be the first tool to be used. Bloodshed should only be considered as a last resort and definitely never used as the first option. As the leader of the free world, we should stand our ground but be prepared to seek peace through restraint. This is not the time to exercise false pride! Unfortunately the Trump administration informed four top State Department management officials that their services were no longer needed as part of an effort to "clean house." Patrick Kennedy, served for nine years as the “Undersecretary for Management,” “Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Consular Affairs” Joyce Anne Barr and Michele Bond, as well as “Ambassador” Gentry Smith, director of the Office for Foreign Missions. Most of the United States Ambassadors to foreign countries have also been dismissed, including the ones to South Korea and Japan. This leaves the United States without the means of exercising diplomacy rapidly, when needed. These positions are political appointments, and require the President’s nomination and the Senate’s confirmation. This has not happened! Moreover, diplomatically our country is severely handicapped at a time when tensions are as hot as any time since the Cold War. Without following expert advice or consent and the necessary input from the Unites States Congress, the decisions are all being made by a man who claims to know more than the generals do, yet he has only the military experience of a cadet at “New York Military Academy.” A private school he attended as a high school student, from 1959 to 1964. At that time, he received educational and medical deferments from the Vietnam War draft. Trump said that the school provided him with “more training than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” His counterpart the unhinged Kim Jong-un has played with what he considers his country’s military toys, since April 11th of 2012. To think that these are the two world leaders, protecting the planet from a nuclear holocaust….
Hank Bracker
Some of the world’s biggest banks and investor groups have swung behind a pledge to raise $200bn by the end of next year to combat climate change. In a move the UN said was unprecedented, leading insurers, pension funds and banks have joined forces to help channel the money to projects that will help poorer countries deal with the effect of global warming and cut reliance on fossil fuels. The announcement came at the start of a UN climate summit in New York aimed at bolstering momentum for a global agreement to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions due to be signed in Paris at the end of 2015. “Change is in the air,” said UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon. “Today’s climate summit has shown an entirely new, co-operative global approach to climate change.” The summit opened with business and government pledges to make cities greener, create a renewable energy “corridor” in Africa and rein in the clearing of forests for palm oil plantations. The private sector’s contributions marked a “major departure” from past climate summits, the UN said, adding in a statement that financial groups “had never previously acted together on climate change at such a large scale”. One obstacle to the Paris agreement is developing countries’ insistence that richer nations must fulfil pledges made nearly five years ago to raise $100bn a year by 2020 for climate action.
Given this American interest, how might war between the United States and China develop? Assume the year is 2010. American troops are out of Korea, which has been reunified, and the United States has a greatly reduced military presence in Japan. Taiwan and mainland China have reached an accommodation in which Taiwan continues to have most of its de facto independence but explicitly acknowledges Beijing’s suzerainty and with China’s sponsorship has been admitted to the United Nations on the model of Ukraine and Belorussia in 1946. The development of the oil resources in the South China Sea has proceeded apace, largely under Chinese auspices but with some areas under Vietnamese control being developed by American companies. Its confidence boosted by its new power projection capabilities, China announces that it will establish its full control of the entire sea, over all of which it has always claimed sovereignty. The Vietnamese resist and fighting occurs between Chinese and Vietnamese warships. The Chinese, eager to revenge their 1979 humiliation, invade Vietnam. The Vietnamese appeal for American assistance. The Chinese warn the United States to stay out. Japan and the other nations in Asia dither. The United States says it cannot accept Chinese conquest of Vietnam, calls for economic sanctions against China, and dispatches one of its few remaining carrier task forces to the South China Sea. The Chinese denounce this as a violation of Chinese territorial waters and launch air strikes against the task force. Efforts by the U.N. secretary general and the Japanese prime minister to negotiate a cease-fire fail, and the fighting spreads elsewhere in East Asia. Japan prohibits the use of U.S. bases in Japan for action against China, the United States ignores that prohibition, and Japan announces its neutrality and quarantines the bases. Chinese submarines and land-based aircraft operating from both Taiwan and the mainland impose serious damage on U.S. ships and facilities in East Asia. Meanwhile Chinese ground forces enter Hanoi and occupy large portions of Vietnam.
Samuel P. Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order)
Not coincidentally, the growing popularity of globalism is linked to an anti-biblical worldview that involves the push for same-sex marriage, dismantling the institution of marriage, abortion, New Age and occult beliefs, and a decline in morals. “The biblical perspective that God has laid out is very antithetical to the kinds of things that globalists aspire to,” Missler says. “But it’s no surprise because the Bible talks about how this globalism appeal is going to be the very instrument that will be used to enslave people.” The widespread acceptance of globalism and its anti-biblical positions didn’t appear out of nowhere. Some of the world’s most prominent figures have promoted globalism and the creation of a world government, including iconic broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite, theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, author and biochemistry professor Isaac Asimov, Soviet statesman Mikhail Gorbachev, UN assistant secretary-general Robert
Paul McGuire (Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code))
Here is why the wellbeing economy comes at the right time. At the international level there have been some openings, which can be exploited to turn the wellbeing economy into a political roadmap. The first was the ratification of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. The SDGs are a loose list of 17 goals, ranging from good health and personal wellbeing to sustainable cities and communities as well as responsible production and consumption. They are a bit scattered and inconsistent, like most outcomes of international negotiations, but they at least open up space for policy reforms. For the first time in more than a century, the international community has accepted that the simple pursuit of growth presents serious problems. Even when it comes at high speed, its quality is often debatable, producing social inequalities, lack of decent work, environmental destruction, climate change and conflict. Through the SDGs, the UN is calling for a different approach to progress and prosperity. This was made clear in a 2012 speech by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who explicitly connected the three pillars of sustainable development: ‘Social, economic and environmental wellbeing are indivisible.’82 Unlike in the previous century, we now have a host of instruments and indicators that can help politicians devise different policies and monitor results and impacts throughout society. Even in South Africa, a country still plagued by centuries of oppression, colonialism, extractive economic systems and rampant inequality, the debate is shifting. The country’s new National Development Plan has been widely criticised because of the neoliberal character of the main chapters on economic development. Like the SDGs, it was the outcome of negotiations and bargaining, which resulted in inconsistencies and vagueness. Yet, its opening ‘vision statement’ is inspired by a radical approach to transformation. What should South Africa look like in 2030? The language is uplifting: We feel loved, respected and cared for at home, in community and the public institutions we have created. We feel understood. We feel needed. We feel trustful … We learn together. We talk to each other. We share our work … I have a space that I can call my own. This space I share. This space I cherish with others. I maintain it with others. I am not self-sufficient alone. We are self-sufficient in community … We are studious. We are gardeners. We feel a call to serve. We make things. Out of our homes we create objects of value … We are connected by the sounds we hear, the sights we see, the scents we smell, the objects we touch, the food we eat, the liquids we drink, the thoughts we think, the emotions we feel, the dreams we imagine. We are a web of relationships, fashioned in a web of histories, the stories of our lives inescapably shaped by stories of others … The welfare of each of us is the welfare of all … Our land is our home. We sweep and keep clean our yard. We travel through it. We enjoy its varied climate, landscape, and vegetation … We live and work in it, on it with care, preserving it for future generations. We discover it all the time. As it gives life to us, we honour the life in it.83 I could have not found better words to describe the wellbeing economy: caring, sharing, compassion, love for place, human relationships and a profound appreciation of what nature does for us every day. This statement gives us an idea of sufficiency that is not about individualism, but integration; an approach to prosperity that is founded on collaboration rather than competition. Nowhere does the text mention growth. There’s no reference to scale; no pompous images of imposing infrastructure, bridges, stadiums, skyscrapers and multi-lane highways. We make the things we need. We, as people, become producers of our own destiny. The future is not about wealth accumulation, massive
Lorenzo Fioramonti (Wellbeing Economy: Success in a World Without Growth)
Would the world stand by if it were men who were dying just for completing their reproductive functions? —ASHA-ROSE MIGIRO, UN DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL, 2007
Nicholas D. Kristof (Half the Sky)
He’s surrounded by a phalanx of UN security officers in crisp blues. They’re not in the uniforms of their home countries, as the UN military forces always are, but instead represent UN Headquarters itself. They’re lined up in a tight formation around the secretary-general – Asian faces, African faces, Nordic faces, all equally clean, sharp, disciplined. It’s scary and thrilling. It looks like a cinematic image of the future, the living embodiment of a New World Order.
Kenneth Cain (Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone)
As the UN Secretary-General stated, in 2018, 26 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the earth’s population,5
Ugo Bardi (Limits and Beyond: 50 years on from The Limits to Growth, what did we learn and what’s next?)
Before I could assume my official functions, I was required to present my credentials to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.* For reasons I cannot now fathom, I chose to wear a striped sundress that exposed both too much shoulder and too much leg. Upon seeing the official photo of me with the secretary-general, the French Ambassador to the UN, Gérard Araud, would later ask mischievously, “You wore your swim suit to present credentials?
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
EARLY IN 1986, I learned of a rumor that Kurt Waldheim, a former United Nations secretary-general and a candidate for Austria’s presidency, had a file as a Nazi war criminal—in the United Nations no less! There were always whispers about Waldheim’s past but a UN file was something new. “Do you have such a file?” I asked the United Nations Secretariat. “We don’t know,” came the answer. “Why not?” I asked. “Because we’re not allowed to open the archives.” During World War II, Churchill had established a tribunal of the sixteen Allied governments (some in exile) to document Nazi war crimes for future prosecution. The tribunal’s findings were handed over to the United Nations when it was established. The files were stored in one of the UN buildings in New York. I asked once more to see them. “You can’t,” a UN official explained. “When the archives were deposited in the United Nations, it was agreed they will be opened only with the unanimous consent of all sixteen countries.” “What the…” I muttered, outraged. In the face of such obstinacy I set out on a yearlong public and diplomatic campaign to convince these sixteen governments to give their consent. In this I was greatly helped by Edgar Bronfman Sr. and Israel Singer of the World Jewish Congress. It was like peeling a diplomatic onion. One layer led to another, and then to another, until at last all the countries had agreed. We had opened the padlock. When I walked into the unlocked storeroom, I saw rows and rows of cardboard boxes containing yellowing files. Picking up a box marked with the letter W, I started going file by file. Sure enough, there was a file marked WALDHEIM KURT. It detailed acts of wanton murder that this Austrian Nazi officer’s unit carried out in the war. Declassified documents later showed that the CIA had been aware of some details of Waldheim’s wartime past since 1945. They didn’t publish the information and Waldheim was able to assume the august post of United Nations secretary-general, in which he was warmly welcomed around the world.
Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi: My Story)
In April 2016, the UN General Assembly held a special session on drugs, in anticipation of which former Secretary General Kofi Annan called for the decriminalization of all drugs for personal use, the increase in treatment options for drug abusers, the implementation of harm-reduction strategies such as needle exchange programs, and a focus on regulation and public education, rather than criminalization. In an op-ed in the Huffington Post, Annan wrote, “It is time to acknowledge that drugs are infinitely more dangerous if they are left solely in the hands of criminals who have no concerns about health and safety. Legal regulation protects health.
Ayelet Waldman (A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life)