The General Assembly paid a tribute to Ban Ki-moon, the outgoing United Nations Secretary-General for his "never-tiring service to humanity" over the past decade, while swearing in Antonio Guterres, his successor who will assume his duties on January 1, 2017.
General Assembly President Peter Thomson said, "Over the last ten years, Secretary-General Ban has led the United Nations with unwavering principles for the good, with dedicated professionalism, and with never-tiring service to humanity."
Among the long list of his main accomplishments, Thomson cited three in, the Secretary-General`s unceasing efforts on the particular issue of climate change, which led to the adoption and entry into force of the Paris Agreement.
Earlier, the Assembly adopted a resolution of tribute to Ban`s, "placing on special record his many bold initiatives, political, diplomatic and organizational and his exceptional contribution to the work of the Organization, and his noteworthy achievements in improving people`s lives and protecting our planet for future generations."
Ban replied, recalling his childhood, "Serving as Secretary-General of this great Organization, has been a great privilege for me of a lifetime. After the Korean War, UN aid fed us. UN textbooks taught us. UN global solidarity showed us we were not alone. For me, the power of the United Nations was never abstract or academic."
He said that he has seen the power of international cooperation in taking on most pressing challenges. He has seen the UN, opening its doors wider than ever to the civil society and many partners to help in transforming the world.
Ban said that his 10 year tenure had been filled with challenges, including the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, eruptions of conflict and uprisings for freedom.
By Prakriti neogi