- - Thursday, December 29, 2016

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been an effective leader of the United Nations in the recent decade.

His leadership on issues such as global warming, climate change and conservation, peacemaking and peacekeeping is admirable. His unrelenting efforts on poverty reduction, combatting HIV/AIDS and other social and health issues facing underprivileged and underdeveloped countries, and his personal engagement in regional conflicts and international terrorism resolution are to be deeply commended.

The small islands countries, such as the Republic of the Marshall Islands, have tremendously benefited by his strong conviction to hasten global actions on sea-level rise and forging commitment on the provision of resources to implement conservation and restoration efforts by small and underdeveloped communities in the Pacific region.

The Pacific Islands countries and people are most vulnerable to climate change and sea-level rise. And unless and until the world community is able to reverse the trend on global warming, many of the islands and their citizens will become “climate change refugees,” and eventually become a lost civilization.

For this reason, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is regarded by many leaders in the Pacific countries as the “world champion” in the fight against global warming and climate change.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s time at the U.N. will soon end, but his vision, integrity and convictions toward a prosperous, peaceful and secure world for our common humanity will long be remembered.

The Honorable Kessai Note was president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands from 2000 to 2008, and also served as speaker of the nation’s National Parliament.

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