UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opened this year’s session of the UN General Assembly Wednesday with a warning that the world has not seen such levels of violence amid so many simultaneous large-scale crises since the end of World War II.
“This year, the horizon of hope is darkened,” Ban said. “It may seem as if the world is falling apart, as crises pile up and disease spreads.”
Addressing leaders from 195 countries, including more than 140 heads of state and government, Ban said the United Nations is currently trying to provide humanitarian assistance to a record number of people.
He called on world leaders to intensify the fight against a myriad of threats, ranging from the Islamic State offensive in Iraq and Syria to the dangers the Ebola virus is posing in West Africa. He also called for international assistance to solve crises in Ukraine, Gaza, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, among others.
“Leadership is precisely about finding the seeds of hope and nurturing them into something bigger,” Ban said. “That is our duty. That is my call to you today.”