An Evening with Mr. Ban Ki -moon
After the Paris Accord Now Comes Your Part.
On December 31st,2016 will be the 8th UN Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s last day at the helm of the United Nations. He will be vacating the top UN seat for Antonio Guterres who was appointed as the next Secretary General effective 1st January 2017 by the 193-member UN General Assembly on October 13th, 2016. The Secretary-General on October 14th 2016 received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from my alma mater University of Maryland, College Park which I happened to witness. It was here that he spoke of his coming to the United States for the first time in a trip in 1962 after winning an essay contest sponsored by the Red Cross. During this trip he meet U.S President John F. Kennedy from whom he got his inspiration to join public service which merit’s the honorary degree he was receiving. Mr. Ban Ki-moon served in the foreign ministry of South Korea raising to it’s highest office as Foreign Minister in 2004 and thereafter as UN Secretary -General from January 2007. During his acceptance speech, he spoke of climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Migrations and Refugees.
On Climate Change.
In a goal to reduce global warming, the Paris Agreement (L’accord de Paris) was negotiated and adopted on December 12th 2015 and will take effect on November 4th 2016. The Paris Agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake the ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its’ effects with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so too. Climate change mitigation generally involves reductions in human emissions of greenhouse gases which absorb and emit infrared radiation in the wavelength range emitted by earth. Some of the most abundant greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are Water vapor, carbon-dioxide, methane , nitrous oxide and Ozone among others. Therefore this agreement calls for all nations to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C by promising to reduce their carbon output. This will help to significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.
It was difficult to jump start the conversation and the secretary general had to visit the Amazon rain forest and arctic among other places in an effort to raise the much needed conversation on the impacts of further climate change. A record 175 world leaders having signed the agreement and with currently 81 nations having had it ratified, what role can you then play to put a stop to the deterioration of living conditions brought about climate change. Implementation of the tasks agreed to at the signing of the accord remain the major factor in which you can hugely play a major role . Use energy in all forms sparingly in both your homes and work place buildings. Use and grow food in a sustainable way. Our schools should be champions in the fight against climate change by developing curriculum’s that nature students to be agents of change against climate change. Students are very adaptable and can quickly make low-carbon lifestyles and career choices a part of their daily lives. They should therefore be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels. They can actively support initiatives that will lead to the passage of far-reaching legislation.
In conclusion ,the Secretary general highlighted the story of Yusra Mardini, who along with 3 other people saved lives of 18 migrants as they were on there Greece fleeing the way from Syria by swimming and pushing the boat to shore in Lesbos once it began to take on water amidst the journey. He used her story to illustrate the power of human solidarity. We humans are in the same boat and if each and every one of us work together can help each other get to our destinations. He therefore implored all of us to demonstrate our concern for climate change, social injustices in the communities and the world by thinking about other people in the world allover, what they need, what they are doing. To do so combine your passion with a compassion for others because the world might be small but you can still contribute from wherever you are as a good global citizen. Have a vision and exhibit your own leadership qualities by always leading by example. This is easily said than done but remember you have more whit than you ever imagine.
Hey Pal, if you read to this point, please hit the ❤ below (o˘◡˘o)