In a political environment that has seen the United States withdraw from international agreements like the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon took to the stage at CME Group’s 10th annual Global Financial Leadership Conference and called on countries around the world to work together to solve the globe’s most pressing challenges. Ban shunned the rise of nationalism sweeping some countries and cautioned that when the US chooses not to take the lead on solving international challenges, other countries will fill the vacuum.
Ban focused his comments on three key issues:
Climate Change - Considering Ban was delivering his speech in Naples, Fla., an area ravaged by Hurricane Irma earlier this year, Ban pressed the point that climate change stands to make hurricanes more frequent and more potent. Ban lamented a future where entire oceanfront communities of today will one day be uninhabitable and called for action to be taken immediately. “We don’t have a Planet B,” Ban explained.
Global Terrorism - Citing recent acts of terrorism in New York City, Orlando, Fla., and San Bernardino, Calif., Ban said the only path to ridding the world of terrorism lies in coordinated efforts among numerous countries.
The Korean Peninsula - As a South Korean, Ban has a vested interest in resolving the rising tensions between North Korea and world powers like the United States. Ban said North Korea has been allowed to cause trouble for far too long and a coalition of countries should work to find a diplomatic solution.