United Nations, Dec 18: The year 2015 must be a "time for global action", UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said and asked the international community to do more to counter extremism and work on reforms of world body to adapt it to a new global landscape.
Highlighting the key imperatives for the world body in the next year, Ban told reporters at his end of the year press conference here yesterday that nations must do more to counter extremism and the "rise of far-right political parties that target minorities, migrants and in particular Muslims.
Ban said that world must keep ambition high to forge a new development agenda and secure a climate change agreement next year, by when the "nightmare" in Syria must also end and escalation of other worrying situations be averted. "... We will continue to adapt the United Nations itself to a new global landscape," he said.
"The year 2015 must be a time for global action. As we mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations next year, we have a duty to answer the call of people across the world for shared prosperity and a sustainable future for all," he said. Ban noted that a number of key reviews of the United Nations' work will come to fruition in 2015, including panels on peace operations which he had launched last month, peace-building review by the General Assembly, and humanitarian financing and implementation of the Security Councils resolution on women, peace and security.
"These assessments are an opportunity to build on the other reforms we have pursued throughout my tenure," he said. Ban also reiterated his strong condemnation of the terrorist attack by the Taliban in a school in Peshawar that killed about 148 people, mostly children. He said it is "most important" for the international community to mobilise all resources and political will and help the capacity building of those countries affected by extremism and terrorism.
"Recently, the international community has been troubled by all this spread terrorism and extremism, here and there. What we have seen, what happened in Pakistan is a totally unacceptable...We have seen so many such things, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and Nigeria and Somalia and elsewhere," he said.
The UN is now actively engaging with countries in danger and vulnerable to terrorism and extremism and seeking to help those member states to strengthen their national capacity, the UN Chief said. On the release of the torture report by the US Senate, Ban said torture should not be used in any situation or circumstances. The report is a "stark reminder that we still need to do much more to stamp out torture practices everywhere." Commending the release of the report, Ban said only by "shining light on what happens in the dark area, we can stop this torture." He asked all countries, political leaders and security-related officials to protect human rights and dignity.