Ban Ki-moon | The Do Good Generation


Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome
to His Excellency, Mr. Ban Ki Moon. [Applause]
>>Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the stage Dr. Wallace Loh, President of University of
Maryland. [Applause]
>>WALLACE LOH: Good afternoon. I’m Wallace Loh, President of the University
of Maryland, College Park, flagship of the State of Maryland. We’re honored that Secretary General Ban Ki
Moon is with us this afternoon, and you should know he’s fresh off the plane from Reagan
Airport. He had a convoy of police officers who cleared
the path for him to get here. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is here today,
but there are a number of distinguished guests I would like to recognize, and I would ask
that you perhaps hold your applause until I acknowledge the people who are here today. Madam Ban is here accompanying the Secretary
General. The First Lady of Maryland, Professor Yumi
Hogan, Professor of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The Maryland Secretary of State, John Wobensmith
is here. The Chancellor of the University System of
Maryland, Dr. Robert Caret, the Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea, the Honorable
An and Mrs. An, they’re here. The First Secretary of The South Korean Embassy,
and many members of the Korean American community in the State of Maryland. Please join me in welcoming our distinguished
visitors. [Applause]
>>WALLACE LOH: Today the University of Maryland is honored to bestow on the Secretary General
an Honorary Doctoral Degree for Public Service. The service of the Secretary General is long,
but I assure you the ceremony will be brief. (Laughter).>>WALLACE LOH: I call to the stage the presenters
who will confer this award to the Secretary General. Would First Lady Yumi Hogan please come forward
the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, Dr. Robert Caret; Dean Robert Orr
of the School of Public policy; University Marshall Martha Nell Smith, professor of English
and a Distinguished Scholar of Emily Dickinson. As a child in South Korea Ban Ki Moon learned
about war and poverty as United Nations’ troops protected his family. Later he rose to the nation’s diplomatic service
to become the Foreign Minister. Subsequently he led the United Nations through
a period of extraordinary challenge, and he’s been at the helm of the United Nations for
close to 10 years. We honor him for both what he’s done, and
for what’s not happened under his leadership. As one of his predecessors has put it, the
United Nations was not created to lead human kind to heaven, but to save human kind from
hell. Mr. Ban counts as his signature achievements
the Paris Accord to limit climate change, an absolutely historic agreement, and the
University of Maryland was very honored to partner with the United Nation in hosting
the historic International Planet Implementation Summit here in College Park and in Washington
DC last May. Mr. Ban’s commitment to youth leadership also
stands among his most lasting achievements. He feels passionately about calling on the
rising generation of young people to high public service. It is this mission that calls him to come
to the University of Maryland today because of the larger initiative, the Do Good initiative. Mr. Secretary General, would you please come
forward for the conferral of the honorary degree? [Applause]
Chancellor Robert Caret, would you please read the award citation?>>ROBERT CARET: Because he rose from war
to pursue peace, because he led the United Nations with calm steadiness through extraordinary
turbulence, because he serves as a voice of the voiceless and a defense for the defenseless
and because he inspires youth to pursue public service, I present Ban Ki Moon for an Honorary
Degree of Public Service.>>WALLACE LOH: Under the authority granted
by the State of Maryland to the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland and by
the authority the board has delegated to me, I am very proud to confer upon Ban Ki Moon
the degree Doctor of Public Service. [Applause]
>>BAN KI-MOON: Dr. Loh, President of The University, Chancellor Caret, Chancellor of
University of System of Maryland, First Lady of State of Maryland, distinguished faculty,
dear young students, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor
for me to be here on the Do Good campus to meet with all the friends and make new friends. I’m thrilled to receive this honorary doctorate
in public service. Now that I have received this honorary degree
and now that I see so many distinguished guests and students I’m a little bit relieved in
Diplomatic community you never organize anything on a Friday afternoon.>>(Laughter).>>BAN KI-MOON: I was a half hour late and
I was wondering if there would be some students left. If only the President and Chancellor remain,
it would be humiliating for me. Thank you for your patience and for participating
and for having yourself available for this very important, meaningful occasion for me. Again I thank you for your participation and
I would like to also thank recognize the presence of His Excellency, Ambassador of the Republic
of Korea and I also see a lot of Korean community Korean American citizens. I’m proud of what you have been doing as Honorable
citizens and contributing to this great society. Again I thank you very much for this honor. As I was introduced by the Chancellor, I decided
to enter public service when I was a young teenager, just 18 years old when I visited
the United States in 1962. I think some of you might not have been born
at that time. I was one of the fortunate, lucky students
who had I was representing Korean Red Cross Society and there were about 120 international
students at the invitation of American Red Cross Society. During all the programs, very meaningful programs,
one particularly important program was to meet with John F. Kennedy at the time in 1962. I was one of a whole list, I was one of the
20 students from international community. At that time John F. Kennedy said that I try
to remember it all, he was it was 54 years ago already. He said that the countries, the leaders are
not getting along well because during the height of Cold War but young people, you are
getting along. These days at that time already he said the
national boundaries are not important. What is important is whether you are ready
to render your helping hands to people who need support. That was most inspiring. At that moment I thought what should I do
for my country? I never thought about the world. I was thinking about my own country. I thought that serving my country as government
official, particularly a Diplomat, would be the best way for me to contribute to my country. I worked hard and I later became a Diplomat,
and that was the time and that inspiring moment just led to me to today and serving this great
organization in the United Nations as Secretary General, working for the peace and stability
and human dignity of all 7 billion people around the world. That’s the moment and I really appreciate
to recognize me as public servant, and I think this Honorary Degree on public service seems
to be fit the fitting to my purpose and I really appreciate it. And thank you very much. I’m receiving this honorary degree on behalf
of tens of thousands of many people of United Nations staff working day and night for humanity
all around the world, day and night. I thank you very much. I accept humbly this honor on behalf of all
them. Ladies and gentlemen, I first want to thank
Professor Dean Robert Orr who I regarded my teacher when we worked together in the United
Nations. Now he’s teaching you. He used to teach me even though he was my
special adviser. There is no age limit when it comes to learning. I learned a lot, particularly on climate change
and all we should do on humanity. As I know from his many years in my office,
he’s a powerhouse of energy. He’s now bringing that to this great school,
wherever he works and he is, he creates a buzz. When I visited last year I vowed to return. Now that time has arrived. Thank you very much for that. As Secretary General, I must, of course, be
impartial, independent and neutral. I cannot express my support for one side or
another. Here today I proudly declare myself a Terp. Like your mascot, the Terrapin, I spend a
lot of my time up to my neck in sticky situations and the water is always rising. I’m extremely concerned about environmental
change and issues. I enjoy basking in the sun when I get a chance. Unlike him though, rubbing my nose will not
bring good luck. Ladies and gentlemen, joking apart, it would
be a great honor to be a Terp. Thank you again for this. It is even greater honor to join you as you
launch the first Do Good campus. The University of Maryland is embracing a
trend from classes where students are creating their own non profits and social enterprise
ventures to your award winning food recovery and food access programs, to your work on
how past discrimination affects present day Baltimore. You are setting a new standard in philanthropy
leadership for your young people. You’re making crucial links between pioneering
research projects, public policy and social change. It is inspiring to witness all of this, of
what you’re doing. I’m confident you will instigate Do Good efforts
on campuses and in communities across the United States and around the world. Distinguished faculty, guests, I would like
to talk to you about the three global challenges: First the climate change; second, sustainable
development; migration. Among these three, the climate change and
Sustainable Development Goals are two very ambitious visions the world leaders, the United
Nations have adopted for humanity. I’m very proud that I have been part of this
process. I hope you will direct some input towards
these global priorities. First the climate change: The Paris Agreement
on Climate Change adopted last year will enter into force on November 4th. Nobody expected that particular Climate Change
Agreement would enter into force so soon. It was difficult for me too expect that this
will happen before the end of my term. I set the bar high, very high. I will make sure that this Climate Change
Agreement will be adopted by last year and will enter into force before I leave my job. I’m making it happen just almost two months
before the end of my term, that I’m very much grateful for all world leaders, particularly
including Obama and the President of China that have shown great leadership. I know how difficult it is for Obama to give
this method, to make it happen on this very difficult electorate campaign system as well
as parliament, the congressional situations. An agreement that once seemed to be impossible
is now unstoppable, inevitable and irreversible. This is a trend, a big, huge trend, that’s
now moving some skeptics and deniers, they were silenced with the whole hearted support
of international community, not just the government leaders, business leaders and Civil Society. I was so inspired when in New York in 2014
when I convened Summit Meeting on Climate Change 400,000 people marched in Manhattan
shouting and crying for this Climate Change Agreement. World leaders have listened to that voice
and business community leaders, they listen to them. There’s a strong power of Civil Society. For example, we have established a lot of
records, normally the sports record is to be broken, so any time this record can be
broken, a marathon, pole vault, swimming, but in the international community when it
comes to certain agreement, conventions, treaties, it is very slow to break any record. This year, April 22nd when this Climate Change
Agreement was opened for signature I invited world leaders. 175 world leaders have come to the United
Nations, just all of them, presidents, kings, Prime Ministers. 175, this is the first ever record breaking
that any agreement convention or treaty was signed by 175 countries in one day in one
place. Such record existed and happened in 1982 when
the world leaders signed United Nations Convention on the Rule of the Sea in Jamaica in 1982. It was 34 years ago. Now out of 197 State Parties, 191 countries
have signed them and now 75 countries have ratified it. We have all crossed over thresholds in case
of a high jump, pole vault, I think we have crossed all the high bars. That’s what I’m very much proud, that world
people have shown their strong commitment. When it comes to climate change I traveled
all around the world during last nine, almost ten years ten years. Most recently just last week I was in Iceland
again just to show how quickly the glaciers are melting. For example, on a single day last month the
Arctic Icecap melted three times its normal speed losing ice the size of England. Can you believe that? The size of England melts in one day. When Arctic ice melts, it can have a catastrophic
effect for coastal cities from Bangkok to Baltimore and New York. There are many cities that can be inundated. The Paris Agreement is a huge step forward. Now comes the real test, implementation. I’m leaving it to my successor who was appointed
yesterday, who was designated yesterday, he assured that he will carry on all our legacies. The Climate Action 2016 Summit that the University
of Maryland cohosted here in Washington earlier this year helped us to accelerate progress
on the ground. We’re seeing promising momentum. A second, the Sustainable Development Goals
of which we normally call SDGs instead of MDGs, Sustainable Development Goals. Global leaders came together again a year
ago, September last year, to agree on a visionary Agenda for people, 7 billion people, and for
our planet earth, planet, so that they can live in peace and prosperity through partnerships. It’s not if you remember the five pieces for
sustainable development, people, planet, peace, prosperity and partnership, that’s the main
theme. The main theological theme of the Sustainable
Development Goals is to leave no one behind. All the people should be placed on to sustainable
path, together with our planet earth where we are living. There’s a main goal. There are 17 goals. 17 goals starting from eradicating poverty,
energy, education, biodiversity, oceans. There are 17 goals. These are the ones that cover all spectrums,
all spectrums of our life as a human being and all the issues covering the sustainability,
environment sustainable planet earth. It has 17 goals which works all in an integrated
way. There is not a single goal out of among 17
goals which can work in separation or in isolation. All this must be addressed comprehensively. That is the vision which world leaders have
made. It took about three, four years in negotiation. The 2030 Agenda is a pact between governments
and their leaders. Many are aligning behind the goals and setting
their own national priorities. They’re seeing exciting opportunities. Civil Society is mobilizing. I’m sure that the universities should also
align your operations of this academic operations in aligning with Sustainable Development Goals
and climate change agreement. Climate change agreement and Sustainable Development
Goals, they’re, in fact, two sides of the same coin. They’ll reduce the fossil fuels, access to
clean energy, production and consumption patterns. This will create enormous opportunities for
research and investment in clean, renewable energy and other innovative technologies. Today I challenge each and every one of you,
students and faculty, at this wonderful research university on the doorstep of NASA and National
Oceanic Administration, apply your technical capacity and expertise to this urgent global
priority. Ladies and gentlemen, the third area which
I would like to talk about is migration and refugees. In fact, if you will study history, the human
beings, it’s been the natural trend, human trend, that people have been constantly moving
for a better future, better place since many, many years. Particularly these days people are moving
because they have to move, they have to flee from danger in their lives. We have 65 million people who are away from
their homes, that have been forced to flee. This is the highest number since the end of
second World War. Only during the second World War have we had
65 billion people displaced refugees, in 21st Century by old standards of scientific development,
technological development, economic, there should be much less but now we have much more. That really creates a lot of things, hatred,
discrimination, killing. That may have to stop and we have to prevent. We have to provide lifesaving assistance to
all these people. This is what United Nations has to do. United Nations cannot do it alone. No country, including the United States can
do it alone. Climate change is one of the reasons why the
living conditions are deteriorating. Therefore, United Nations has convened for
the first time again in the history, in the history of 71 is years, the Summit Meeting
on Global Movement of Migrants and Refugees. That was done at my initiative and President
Obama had his own meeting where I was cochairman focusing on refugees. The United Nations agreed and adopted a declaration
on global movement of refugees and migrants and we’re now working on another one and a
half or two years to agree on a global compact. This cannot be done by any country or any
group of country. We have to address this issue based on global
responsibility sharing. This has to be shared by all the countries
around the world. Governments pledge solidarity with the people
who are forced to flee and reaffirm the respect for the Human Rights of refugees and migrants. We also launched a global campaign to combat
a phobia called together. Let us build bridges of mutual understanding
and mutual support rather than erecting walls and barriers. Therefore together respect safety and dignity
for all. That’s been our catch phrase. Our campaign is designed to highlight inclusivity
and the strength of diversity. There is power in diversity. I have been wanting wanting the world political
lead warning the world political leaders don’t make mistake by dividing the people, you may
get votes added, but that’s against. By respecting the diversity you can have much
more strength. Unfortunately there are all kinds of different
ethnicities and groups of people, it seems to be very much divided. When you respect all the traditions and cultures
and religions and languages, even though you may be looking at divisive and diverse, it
could be very much inclusive and you could have a much more powerful force and energy. Ladies and gentlemen, let me close my speech
today by just introducing one very moving story. You might have a hard a Syrian lady, a refugee
lady, Ms. Yusra Mardini, she had participated she’s a good swimmer. She participated in the Rio Olympic games
as a swimmer. What happened, when she fled her country of
Syria, she was one of many, many people in a small boat, a crowded boat on a sea in Mediterranean
and then unfortunately this boat got engine trouble and they were just drifting. Very dangerous. She jumped into the sea with some of her friends
who were able to swim. They were pushing three hours. Three hours pushing this boat to the shore. They were able to do that. They saved all life. Of course, she was exhausted, but she and
her fellow swimmers had proven the power of human solidarity. We human beings are all in the same boat. If we work together we can all make it our
destination, a safer, more sustainable, a just world for all the people. I call on young people, particularly young
students starting with the students here today’s University of Maryland to lead the way and
be a Do Good Generation. The University has taken Do Good campaign
and many universities are participating in the Do Good campaign, put your energy and
values to the best use. Demonstrate your concern about injustice here
in your communities and around the world. Think among yourselves, just do not think
about where you’re studying. United States is most well to do, the wealthiest
of countries, think about other people in Africa, Middle East, poor countries what they
need, what they’re doing. You’re not able to see them without heart
break. Think about all those people. Have compassion. As a young people, they have normally a strong
passion as a prerogative to passion, but if this passion is not compared with compassion,
you don’t know where the passion if the passion is not compared with compassion, you don’t
know where the passion will develop. Passion should be compared with compassion,
have a great compassion for other people. Try to raise and widen your horizon. The world may be small but it is still there
are many things you can do, you can contribute. I’m asking you to be a global citizen. That’s a consist message to young people,
be a global citizen, a leader, no matter the profession you may have in your career, in
your future, when you have a global vision you can make this world better for all. Again, I’m very much honored to have this
honorary degree. I’m asking you, we work together to make this
world better where nobody will be left behind. That’s a vision of the United Nations through
this Sustainable Development Goals. I thank you very much for your attention and
for your global visions. Thank you very much.>>[Applause].>>Thank you. We now begin the Q and A portion of the event
about Mr. Ban Ki Moon moderated by Dr. Orr, Dean of the University and Adviser on climate
change.>>ROBERT ORR: Thank you Mr. Secretary General. I have had the pleasure and honor to be in
many places in the world with you. I don’t think I remember ever sitting on a
stage in funny robes in front and having a conversation in front of 1,000 close friends. Thank you. This is a new experience. I would like to ask, I know we have only a
few minutes, but if students, I would like to give priority to students, if you have
a question for the Secretary General, if they could please approach the two mikes that are
here, left and right, we only have an opportunity for a very few questions, but while you’re
making your way to the mike I thought I would get us started, sir. You’re coming to the end of a very successful
10 year term as Secretary General, managing the world’s most difficult problems. I would like you to share with our students
today your vision of leadership. I have seen you operate in very difficult
circumstances, I have seen things work, I have seen them not work. At the end of 10 years, leading the world,
what can you share with us about your views on leadership?>>BAN KI-MOON: A good question. I thought my speech would be sufficient to
get honorary degree.>>(Laughter).>>BAN KI-MOON: I realize that I’m having
examination for this degree. Whatever the conditions may be for this honorary
degree, I’ll try to answer. As you know, December 31st will be my last
day as Secretary General. I believe that everybody has a different style
in their leadership because we have been educated in different way, different styles, different
schools and you have different parents and friends. It is only natural that all leaders have different
styles. I have shown my genuine not genuine my own
leadership style, but one word, one keyword if I may want to say is that lead by example. It is easy to say, but it is very difficult. If you want to lead the whole big organization,
unless you show your own quality, your own commitment and ask other people to follow
your leadership, if you just stay behind, why don’t you do this, this is my direction,
nobody will follow you. When you go ahead and this is my start, this
is my vision, and I’m leading by example, sometimes you have to do much more than your
staff. When staff can work eight hours, then you
have to work nine hours, ten hours, otherwise you cannot convince your people. That’s my leadership style. Of course, you know, how can you implement
your vision? That again has a different way of doing. Sometimes you have to shout and you have to
make it clear that this is my vision and you must do it. When it comes to Human Rights and human dignity,
violation of all Human Rights and you have to really raise your voice. There are other issues, which may have more
sensitive issues that you can also engage in in a different way, a different way with
world leaders. In most of the cases, I think I have been
able to convince world leaders and I have been able to convince our staff. That is why we have been able to agree on
climate change or Sustainable Development Goals, it is very difficult to convince 193
sovereign Member States. Everyone comes with their own national interests,
but the important and encouraging value of the United Nations, multilateralism, when
they bring their national interest, national perspectives, at the end of debate, discussions,
we all come out with a global vision. That’s what United Nations has been doing. Sometimes it takes a long time. Much longer than expected. That’s why United Nations often is criticized
that we’re taking too long time, too inefficient, ineffective, but with persevere, with flexibility,
with patience I have been able to lead this organization and this is what I can tell you.>>ROBERT ORR: Thank you. You know professors have very bad habits of
giving grades after questions. There is only one part of your answer that
I want to call attention to. You said when people who work for you work
eight hours you have to work nine. The United Nations that I remember, we worked
15 and you worked 20 a day. May I ask the first student on this side of
the room to ask a question, please.>>AUDIENCE: Thank you. Mr. Secretary General, thank you so much for
being here and giving the inspirational speech. I’m Ling Long. I’m in the School of Public Policy. Many people think of you as the climate SG
and your successor was just elected and he said he would do his best to follow-through
on your legacy on climate and SDGs. My question is, what would you advise him
as priority for the Paris process moving forward? For those of us interested in supporting this
process, what advice can you give us as we’re preparing ourselves and entering this career? Thank you so much.>>BAN KI-MOON: Talking about climate change
I have a lot and long stories to tell you but because of time limit I just told you
the lead by example. When I took over my job in 2007 the discussions,
negotiation on climate change was very slow, almost non existence. How to jump start, it was very difficult,
very difficult, then just your talk that climate change is happening, that it is very dangerous,
people would not believe it. That’s why I have been traveling all around
the world. I think you’ll find me as the only world leader
who visited Arctic twice and Antarctica once and the river basins and all other places
where I was able to see, I have been twice to Iceland, Greenland, all other places. On this Arctic ice I used to speak out to
the world, send a message, beat the drums. By doing that, I was able to gradually move
or have the discussions. Now all this agreement has been agreed and
it is going to be effective on November 4th. I hope my successor will carry on full implementation. Now even though it will be effective on November
4th, it is simply merely some pages of written document, all this written document must be
translated into action, implementation. Implementation is not the only job of the
government, it should be done by business communities, should be done by University,
academic communities, and civil societies. Each and every one of you can be a part of
this implementation. I’m glad that my successor designate has reaffirmed
yesterday that they will take all of this legacy through implementation. My message, I continue to discuss that there
are many issues, Sustainable Development Goals, every one, every country, every business,
they take a strong ownership of the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate change. It is not the job of government. Civil society, governments, academic communities,
they all should be a part of this, particularly I’m asking since I’m the at the University,
the professor should teach young students so they have a better understanding, they
have more ownership on this, after all, this is for the younger people, for their generation. Thank you.>>AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.>>ROBERT ORR: Thank you.>>[Applause].>>ROBERT ORR: If you could please introduce
yourself before the question.>>AUDIENCE: Thank you. I’m a freshman here at the University of Maryland. My family is from the country Uganda and I’m
passionate about guaranteeing 12 years of education for women worldwide. I love that you had a project that helped
empower women in 2007. How can leaders empower the women?>>BAN KI-MOON: I can tell you again that’s
an important question. That’s one of the very important goals of
sustainable SDGs. Beneficially of this, good and quality education,
when I was admitted into elementary school, by that time unfortunately the Korean War
broke out and all the schools were destroyed. We didn’t have a letter on the school buildings
but textbooks. At that time United Nations came and they
delivered everything, the textbooks, something we had to eat, to wear. I’m the beneficiary of all this good education. Koreans were very poor. Very thirsty. They didn’t have water. At the same time the Koreans were also hungry
for education. They were thirsty for education. That’s a vision of the leaders. That’s a vision of the United Nations. With so many refugees and refugee camps established
around the world, 65 million, the first thing we do for refugees is that first we set up
tents and we provide water and something to eat, after that we make school. Even if those schools are make shift schools,
we establish schools and teach young people. Without education, you cannot have first of
all well trained human resource who can engage in manufacturing and other businesses, therefore
I established in 2011 the global education first initiative. I appointed former U.K. Minister Gordon Brown
as my Special Envoy in raising the awareness and promoting and providing educational facilities
to all students around the world. Providing good education to young people,
that’s a very wise investment. Thank you very much.>>ROBERT ORR: Thank you. [Applause].>>ROBERT ORR: I’m going to have to apologize
to everyone who is lined up, but I think we only have time for one more question. I think we’re going to turn to our last questioner.>>AUDIENCE: Thank you so much. I’m a director of sustainable movement. For universities not just UMD but universities
across the country what is the most significant thing they can do to help prevent the worst
effects of climate change?>>BAN KI-MOON: I answer these questions,
the universities can also take great contribution, make a great contribution when it comes to
climate change. There are many students, many buildings, you
use a lot of energies, how you use energies in a sustainable way, how do make food and
consumption in a sustainable way and the most importantly, if professors have curriculum
on sustainable development or climate change, how we can lead sustainably with our nature,
then educating young people so that they can be agents drivers of the changes, that’s a
very important one, investment. I would strongly advise the University to
be a champion in promoting, implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and climate
change. In fact, these are two most important, ambitious,
far reaching and visionary commitment of the United Nations and they were adapted at the
United Nations by the world leaders, but it is now belonging to all the governments and
all the business communities and all the citizens. Each and every citizen can share and own this
vision. I thank you very much.>>ROBERT ORR: Mr. Secretary General, on behalf
of President Loh, Chancellor Caret, we thank you for taking time out of your very busy
schedule to come and share your thoughts with us today. It is an honor. We thank you. [Applause].>>This concludes our special event today. Please remain seated as the Secretary General
and his Delegation depart the venue.

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