Vital time in history to achieve SDG targets – Ban Ki-moon

By Wilnard Bacelonia

February 27, 2024, 5:15 pm

<p>Senate building <em>(PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)</em></p>

Senate building (PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Visiting former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reminded Filipinos that the target to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Change Agreement is getting closer, set on 2030 and 2050, respectively.

"This is why there has never been a more vital time in history to come together in cooperation, partnership, and solidarity to redouble our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement," Ban said in his speech before the Senate plenary Tuesday.

Ban served as the UN’s Secretary-General from Jan. 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2016.

Among his first major initiatives was the 2007 Climate Change Summit, which put the issue on the global agenda.

Ban, who is in the country from Feb. 26-28, also thanked the government for Senate Resolution 929 and for being the first visiting foreign dignitary to speak before the body.

"This is indeed a profound and unforgettable honor for me personally as well," Ban said.

On behalf of the Korean people, Ban reiterated the recognition to Filipino troops who were sent to help in the Korean war in the 1950s under the banner of the UN.

The eighth UN secretary-general also noted that the Philippines and South Korea will celebrate their 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations on March 3.

"I sincerely hope that our bilateral relations will continue to be deepened and expanded for the mutual benefit of our two peoples," Ban said.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri led the welcome honors along with Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, who filed Senate Resolution No. 929, honoring the South Korean diplomat.

“We are very honored to be welcoming former Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for this historic visit to the Senate,” Zubiri said in a statement.

Ban, who currently chairs the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future, the Boao Forum for Asia, the Global Center on Adaptation, and the Global Green Growth Institute, among others, is in the country to deliver a speech on climate change and SDGs at the Asian Development Bank's Eminent Speakers' Forum.

Meanwhile, Legarda said Ban's visit to the Philippines serves as "an unyielding testament to his continuous efforts to address current challenges and uncertainties in the world today."

“Our country looks up to his leadership and wisdom as we confront the adverse effects of climate change and implement solutions to safeguard the life and future of every Filipino,” she added. (PNA)