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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Leadership, Climate Change, and Having the World's Toughest Job

LinkedIn Executive Editor Daniel Roth spoke with Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Hear what it's like having the "hardest job in the world" and follow him to the top of the Empire State Building.

Read the post on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140701122330-29092-what-drives-the-man-with-the-world-s-most-impossible-job

Some of our favorite excerpts:

"While the countries in the world have been really trying hard to make prosperity and well-being for their people, they have not paid much attention to the planetary boundary limit of our planets. United Nations' goal is to make this whole world sustainable in a social, economic and environmental way. But we have to respect and understand that there is a planetary boundary limit.

I'm afraid to say that we may be stepping on a tipping point, depending upon where and how we step or help. We may be able to achieve a sustainable world for succeeding generations. But otherwise, we may have to regret what we have not been doing.

So I have been raising my voice to the world leaders. I believe that first of all, all world leaders, they should have a correct and future-oriented vision. The national economy—national peace and development—that should be their priority. At the same time, they should look beyond their national boundaries, because this climate change does not respect national geographical boundaries.

This impacts the whole world, regardless of where you are living, whether you are living in the developed or developing world. That is why I'm asking all the leaders to come to United Nations on September 23rd, with a bold and ambitious vision and targets, so that other countries can also emulate and learn their lessons. This will be a solutions-seeking climate change summit meeting."

"When I first took over my job in 2007, January 2007, there were not many women leaders. There were many women in the lower rank. And mostly, the senior positions were taken by men. You know, I was coming from a very conservative country, Korea. But I thought as a Secretary-General that, first of all, the human rights and social, economic and political opportunity of women should be promoted. So I began to recruit very able and capable and intelligent women leaders from around the world.

And now I'm very glad to tell you that we are almost at par between men and women at a senior level. I'm very pleased to see, when I convene a meeting around my table, there are quite a number of women leaders who are working with me."

"When I was a young boy, as Korea was totally devastated, it was United Nations, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNVP, or UN peacekeepers who brought us peace and who brought us something to eat—just something to eat and to pray with, even. Then UN was a beacon of hope to us, to all of us. Now I was struck to find out there are still many people, billions of people who regard United Nations as beacon of their hope."