Both Barack Obama and Ban Ki-moon – in the final months of their stints as President of the United States and Secretary-General of the United Nations – highlighted the many problems the world still faces, even as they urged the world to come together. Through their General Assembly speeches, President Obama extolled the benefits of globalisation, but acknowledged that “A world in which one per cent of humanity controls as much wealth as the other 99 per cent will never be stable”. Secretary-General Ban pulled no punches, and in fact singled out world leaders who were “rewriting constitutions, manipulating elections, and taking other desperate steps to cling to power”, though he did not name the regional or global partners who have exacerbated conflicts.
The same problems continue to plague the world: the end of a seven-day truce in Syria, fatal shootings of black men by white police officers in the United States, and the corruption scandal in Brazil. In China, the botched repair across a section of the Great Wall – which wiped out gnarled features such as the crenelations and towers – has left Chinese preservationists and Internet users incensed. Continue reading
It makes one wonder if significant improvements can be made to the much-heralded “many helping hands” framework – involving important stakeholders such as the non-government organisations (NGO) and the Community Development Councils (CDC) – to heighten accessibility, comprehension levels and outreach capabilities. Continue reading
“United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been shamefully silent on China’s poor human rights record and its unjustified imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo” (Ban Pulls His Punches, IHT). The report “Ban Pulls His Punches” (November 6, 2010): given his less-than-impressive performance over the years, one wonders if Secretary General Ban Ki-moon genuinely comprehended the role … Continue reading