By Joseph Toe/LINA/
Ban made the call in his final address to the UN General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Tuesday, a copy of which was issued in Monrovia by the UN office.
“Indeed, in too many places, we see leaders rewriting constitutions, manipulating elections and taking other desperate steps to cling to power,” he pointed out.
The UN Secretary-General made specific reference to the Ukraine in Eastern Europe and South Sudan in East Africa as two countries whose leaders are perpetrating violence against their peoples and circumventing democracy in a bid to cling on to power.
“Leaders must understand that holding office is a trust, granted by the people, not personal property,” Ban said, pointing out that they should not pilfer their country’s resources nor imprison and torture their critics.
He told political leaders and candidates not to engage in the cynical and dangerous political math that says “you add votes by dividing people and multiplying fear.”
He said the world should stand up against lies and distortions of truth, and reject all forms of discrimination.
“We must also address the factors that compel people to move by investing in conflict prevention and engaging in patient diplomacy,” he stated.
The UN official noted that as the demand for peacekeeping rises, “we must continue strengthening peace operations to help countries secure and sustain peace.”
Ban said he is encouraged that the General Assembly has endorsed the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism which “can help us tackle the drivers of conflict.”
He added: “A perfect world may be on the far horizon, but a route to a better world, a safer world, a more just world, is in the hands of each and every one of us.”
The UN Secretary-General noted: “Ten years on, I know that working together, working united, we can get there. I count on your leadership and commitment.”