Ban Ki-Moon, former United Nations secretary-general, attends the Doha Forum 2019 at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel in Doha, Qatar, Dec 15, 2019. (AMMAR ABD RABBO / AUDITOIRE / AFP)
SEOUL – "China has made substantial contributions to realizing the ideals of the United Nations," former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"The restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China was a landmark event in the history of the UN," Ban said when recalling China's role in the United Nations during the last 50 years.
"The United Nations became a universal organization in terms of its size and contents by the restoration of the seat by China," he added.
During his ten-year tenure as secretary-general, Ban has witnessed the occurrence of many important events, with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals among the most significant global affairs.
"These were possible in large part with the strong leadership and involvement of China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping,"
"The most crucially important contribution of China was its strong commitment to fighting against climate change," Ban said.
China played "a decisive role" in the negotiation process of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, Ban said, expressing his gratitude for China's contribution in accelerating the process of ratifying the agreement.
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Recalling that Xi took an initiative of inviting him and then US President Barack Obama to Hangzhou in September 2016, he said the two leaders presented him with their respective instrument of joining the Paris Agreement.
China not only has made a substantial contribution to obtaining the targets of the Millennium Development Goals, but also has been playing a crucial role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said
"It was a very meaningful event which encouraged other countries to follow suit of China and the United States to ratify the Paris Agreement," Ban said.
"Had not been President Xi Jinping's initiative, we would not have the Paris Agreement on climate change even now," he added.
China's commitment to carbon neutrality before 2060 has also sent an encouraging signal to other countries, he said.
China not only has made a substantial contribution to obtaining the targets of the Millennium Development Goals, but also has been playing a crucial role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, Ban said.
Referring to China's achievements in lifting the Chinese people above the abject poverty line, he said it encouraged other developing countries to do the same.
Pointing out that the world is facing serious challenges such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the weakening of multilateralism, Ban called for multilateral cooperation and urged world leaders to be more active in nurturing multilateralism.
"We share one planet, one humankind and one future. We need to work for common peace and prosperity of one humankind, respecting one planet and one future," he added.
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In this regard, the former UN chief said building a community with a shared future for mankind, proposed by Xi, "is a very important concept."
"China's idea of being a builder of world peace, contributor to global development, defender of the international order and provider of public goods are consistent with the ideals of the UN Charter," he noted.
"I hope that China will continue to work closely with the UN in making the world better, safer and more prosperous in the future," Ban said.