Jan. 5, 2022

Ep70: Ban Ki-moon 'The Planet's Leading Diplomat'

Ban Ki-moon was the 8th Secretary General of the UN. He is the Chairman of Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future.

In April 2019, Mr. Ban was elected as the Chairman of Presidential National Council on Climate and Air Quality (NCCA) (2019-2021). In April 2018, Mr. Ban was elected as the Chairman of Boao Forum for Asia. In January 2018, Mr. Ban, along with former President of Austria Mr. Heinz Fischer, were inducted as Co-Chairs of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Ban Ki-moon was also elected as Chairman of IOC Ethics Committee in September 2017. Currently, he is the Distinguished Chair Professor and Honorary Chairman at the Institute of Global Engagement & Empowerment at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. In February 2018, he was elected and has been serving as the President of the Assembly & Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Prior to these appointments, Mr. Ban served two consecutive terms as the Secretary General of the United Nations (2007-2016).

Throughout his tenure at the UN, Mr. Ban strove to be a bridge builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and the most vulnerable people, and to make the Organization more transparent and effective. He successfully pressed for action to combat climate change - an effort that culminated in the adoption and rapid entry into the landmark Paris Agreement in 2016. Mr. Ban worked closely with member states of the UN to shape the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to establish UN Women, which has been advancing the Organization’s work for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Mr. Ban also launched major efforts to strengthen UN peace operations, to protect human rights, to improve humanitarian response, and to prevent violent extremism and to revitalize the disarmament agenda.

At the time of his appointment at the UN, Mr. Ban was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. His 37 years with the Ministry included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C., and Vienna, and responsibilities for a variety of portfolios, including Foreign Policy Adviser to the President, Chief National Security Adviser to the President, Vice Minister, Deputy Minister for Policy Planning and Director-General for American Affairs. Mr. Ban has also been actively involved in issues relating to inter-Korean relations by serving as Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.

Mr. Ban received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1985.

Further reading:

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens


The Elders mourn the loss of Archbishop Desmond Tutu (December 2021)




Click here for Edited Highlights

Michael Liebreich: Before we start, if you're enjoying these conversations, please make sure that you like or subscribe to cleaning up. It really helps other people to find us. Cleaning up is brought to you by the Liebreich Foundation and the Gilardini Foundation. Hello, I'm Michael Liebreich, and this is Cleaning Up. Welcome to Season Five. My guest today is the 8th Secretary General of the United Nations. Mr. Ban Ki-moon served from 2007 until 2016. Please welcome Mr. Ban Ki-moon to Cleaning Up. Mr. Ban, Secretary General, thank you very, very much for joining us here today.


BK-M: Thank you very much. It's a great pleasure to see you again. We've been working very much on sustainable development, climate change, I think we are still working to realize a sustainable world. But first we have to address this climate change phenomena.


ML: Well, that's right. I was very honored to work for you under Sustainable Energy for All and in fact, even before then, when it was just a coordinating function led by Kandeh Yumkella. But tell me the last few years we've not interacted during this terrible pandemic. And you've done some work on that through your foundation, what has what has been your contribution there?


BK-M: Well, the first thing I did after my retirement was to establish Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria. And then of course, you know, I established my foundation, Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future in Seoul, Korea. Other than that, these will facilitate my work as a former Secretary General because I have been invited or I have been participating in many different very important international conferences where people were talking about climate, sustainable development, human rights, etc, etc. Now, then, I am now holding several positions as a chairperson, or president of international organization. One is Global Center on Adaptation on climate. This is headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands. And then I'm also President of the Assembly and the Chairman of the Council. Both the titles I'm holding in Global Green Growth Institute, GGGI and the headquarter is located fortunately in Seoul, but it is with 41 member states. And I'm also working as a chairman of the Boao Forum. As you know what this is what the Chinese people called Asian version of the Davos Forum. This is a big, the largest, the biggest foreign policy forum in Asia. But of course, you know, many European and American people participate. I'm the chairman of this. And I'm also the chairman of the Ethics Commission of International Olympic Committee, for which, that capacity, I'm going to participate in Beijing Olympic Games. I was reelected this year in Tokyo Olympics for four more years. And I'm also working as Vice Chairman of the Elders. And this is an independent organization composed of former heads of state or government or Nobel Peace laureates. I'm vice chairman of this and several others, but I cannot tell you even describe all what I have been doing but I have been significantly very busy, busy in participating doing almost the same things as a Secretary General.


ML: And we should note that we're recording this just two days after the passing of one of the Elders, Desmond Tutu. I believe he was one of the Elders, it’s very sad. I mean, he lived an extraordinary life and we should pay our respects to him for his contribution, I think.


BK-M: Yes, we’re very saddened that he has passed yesterday and the Elders have issued a statement mourning his death.


ML: Very good. And we can link to that in our show notes so that people can read that statement. But it must be strange for you when we last met, it was in Bern, you had just been elected for your first term as chair of the IOC Ethics Committee. So that means that we have not spoken for four years. But it must also be just the last few years extraordinary for you that the lack of travel. Have you ever in your career travelled as little as in the last two years – you are lucky that GGGI is located in Seoul, South Korea, but everything else you’ve presumably done mostly virtually?


BK-M: And this year, I began to trave:l twice to Washington DC, twice to New York. Then I travelled of course to Tokyo for the Tokyo some Olympic Games. Then I travelled to Netherlands to open an office in Rotterdam, new office. GCA, Global Centre for Adaptation was established in 2018 with the initiative of Dutch government, but it is composed of about 30, 30 member states including European Union, Germany and many European countries. And there is new very, you know, climate friendly headquarter was established in Rotterdam that is the world's largest floating office on the sea. And it was opened by His Majesty King of the Netherlands. Last September, I was there. Yeah. And I was also in Austria.


ML: So you have started the relentless travel that we spoke about four years ago, you have started again, I want to ask you about the pandemic. Because you've been at the pinnacle of global affairs. Do you think coming out of the pandemic, hopefully we are coming out of it… If not now, then during 2022, we would hope but do you think when it is eventually over, the global system will be strengthened by the experience, you know, forged through the flames of a pandemic, or do you think it has exposed such fault lines, inequalities, that they will sort of fester and hold back it global action on everything from peace to climate change?


BK-M: Yeah, of course, you know, the reason why we have to suffer why we are suffering from this pandemic, is because the world's leaders have always been forgetting what they had to learn from their past experiences. We have been repeating all this since the beginning of the 20th century now, starting from the Spanish flu in 1918. Then I sincerely hope that we will be over from this pandemic, then whole world’s people, particularly political leaders, have to remember what we have been suffering, not to repeat again the same foolish mistake because there were many warnings. There were many warnings in 2014 the many Western African countries suffered from Ebola, the mortality rate was much, much higher than this, you know coronavirus, mortality rate was 45%. At that time, the United Nations and whole international community particularly United States was, you know, coordinating very closely that we were able to eradicate Ebola in a relatively short period. Not, you know, two years like this way, what we had happened, what we did at the time was that I discussed this matter with the Margaret Chan, then Director General who said look it seems that this Ebola crisis cannot be handled by WHO only. So, let's work together. Then we brought told this Ebola, things under my direct control. So United Nations, World Bank, CDC of America, and the whole organizations of the United Nations, including WHO work together, then I immediately report to the Security Council. Then Security Council in just one day, upon my recommendation adopted the resolution stating that Ebola disease is serious, and is a serious threat to the maintenance of international peace and security and decided to establish UNMEER, United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response. There was the for the first time in the history of the United Nations. When UN established a military UN mission for the purpose of health, and even military people were dispatched United States, United Kingdom, France, and they dispatched, you know, military soldiers to block all these three most shaken stricken countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and I travelled myself and together with the World Bank, we mobilized the whole necessary resources, and General Assembly was very quick again, to endorse all what I was doing. And then early March last year, 2020 I telephoned to Tedros of WHO and I said this seems to be a very serious issue, you may not be able to handle this crisis alone. WHO by its own nature is not an operating organization, as a research and you know, education etc, etc, but they don't have that capacity now. And then, unfortunately, President Trump, he withdrew membership from the WHO rather than supporting it, that was the beginning of the problems for unfortunately for international community. Now, the fight over who was the origin, where was the origin of this, I mean, pandemic was could have done much later, we should have addressed this one first. And then we can discuss we could have discussed this one. Now, with the other variants like Delta and Omicron. Now we are, you know, overstretched now, WHO is overstretched, and United Nations, you know, it's not well organized, I'm not blaming, I'm not blaming, but we have to learn from what we had done before. This is a very important lesson. That's why I'm emphasizing that we must not repeat, if, unfortunately, if anything happens in the future, they will have to immediately remember what we had done. So, we must build back better now. We must build back better. And we have too much to do much better and much more for climate action.


ML: Well, that's right. And if I paraphrase my question was, if you think we'll come out stronger or weaker? And your answer really is, it's up to us. We have to learn the lessons.


BK-M: Yeah, of course.


ML: That is certainly very applicable to climate and to the energy access challenge, which is where I was privileged to work with you in the past. I want to move on to that. It was under your leadership, that the UN sort of switched on to energy and clean energy, sustainable energy for all as an issue. If we go back to the Millennium Development Goals, energy did not feature even though it was so essential to achieve them all. But it was not a goal. And then if you move forward to the SDGs, which of course were developed under your period as Secretary General and with your mentorship, throughout. Of course, we've got SDG seven, sustainable energy for all. And you've spoken in the past about why it was an issue that resonated for you. Can you talk about that?


BK-M: Energy is an important component in the everyday life of everyone. In particular, you know, a small holder you know, people businesses and farmers and but it without energy in 21st century you cannot do anything. So that's the period. It can support the transformational of healthy, inclusive and sustainable food systems so that both the production is improved and the environment is protected at the same time. The three main three main drivers behind all this transformation are ensuring food security, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions of the end user sector and increasing resilience to climate change induced hazard. We need clearer roadmaps and the joint action among all stakeholders around the world to influence the path forward for clean energy in terms of funding, diversity, innovation, and policymaking. The Ban Ki-moon Centre located in Vienna, was a contributor to the key findings developed by the UNIDO you need on a United Nations Industrial Development Organization Vienna Energy Forums, a virtual series. This is series summarized in a set of policy recommendations for policymakers to align their energy transition effort with sustainable food system, as you know, in September 2011, that's you know, me who have announced at the General Assembly a new initiative called the Sustainable Energy for All where you worked as a very important partner, then General Assembly upon my recommendation declared the Year 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, sending a clear and strong signal about the centrality of energy in ending poverty and addressing climate change, you know, all this is a cross cutting, cross cutting issue. Without energy, you cannot do anything. Now you can, we can really, I called for action around the three objectives to be achieved by 2030. First, ensure universal access to modern energy services, second, double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency. So double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. So, energy services, modern energy services, efficiency, energy efficiency, and the reasonable energy mix. These are very important one, as you mentioned, Kandeh Yumkella. I appointed him as a Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All, so I really thank you for your own leadership been engaging in SE4All, you know, Sustainable Energy for All.


ML: Thank you. It was a pleasure to serve during the creation of that initiative. And in fact, Kandeh Yumkella is a former guest on Cleaning Up, I think it was around episode 17 or 18. And he walked us through some of the negotiations behind the scenes, how he actually got the Americans and others to accept those three goals that you spoke about. I just wonder if you were doing the same exercise now, whether you would also include access to broadband internet for all given the importance of the internet in learning for children.


BK-M: Energy access is extremely crucial for everyone, including children, the generation who go to school, especially now when schools are closing, because of the pandemic. Now, however, the digital access and the energy access are inherently unequal and threaten to deepen this learning crisis. But even before the pandemic in many instances, children have no light to do homework for work. This is exactly what I experienced during my time when I was a young, young child. We didn't have electricity, I had to study under the dim, a dim you know, candlelight or something like this way. So, you know what it is very sad that the still at this time 21st century there are more than 1.5 billion people all around us who do not have light energy service in their homes. The need to use, again, the internet in internet exacerbates is going to exacerbate the energy access issue. It comes with additional questions and connectivity and internet cost, especially in developing countries, as well as a broader capacities like digital literacy. And now, the overall need for clean energy access, for intensive usage, including production should be focused, simply installing a solar light to read at night only eliminates the poverty and does not tackle the systemic issues before so we have to really make sure that everybody has access to sustainable energy.


ML: Yeah, absolutely. I entirely echo that sentiment, and it's something that I look forward to working on again, and continuously in fact. I want to move forward to the Paris Agreement, which of course, also 2015 took place during your term as Secretary General. And some would say it was one of your crowning achievements. We've spoken on Cleaning Up to quite a few of the major figures. Laurence Tubiana. We had the US negotiator, Todd Stern, Amber Rudd, the UK negotiator and quite a few of the supporting cast. People like now Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, Teresa Ribera, Rachel Kyte, who, of course, was your Special Representative on Climate and Energy at the UN, in fact, was our second guest very early. So we're creating this archive of memories in a sense of that negotiation. What are your memories? What do you recall most vividly from that extraordinary two week period in December 2015?


BK-M: The most, one of the most reproduce the images from that day is of course, you know holding up in arms with Christiana Figueres, myself, also Laurent Fabius, the president of the meeting, and President Francois Hollande, and Al Gore, who was a champion, you know, dancing like… Everybody, everybody was excited, everybody was excited, I have never seen such kind of exciting moment when everyone's jumping to dance, you know. So that means, that means, conversely speaking, how difficult the negotiation had been, and how much, you know, tired people, you know, just the fatigue. So, at least learning from the humiliating humiliation in the Copenhagen COP 15 in 2009 people, you know, well reaffirmed their commitment, look, we have to make it happen. And then I think we… that also that kind of humiliating, failure has given us some motivation, motivation and solidarity among the people of the world to do something. And by 2015, that is what, you know, I can tell you at this time, I cannot go on detail how difficult all this detailed in negotiations, but that was the, to my mind, one of the very few moment when whole world’s were united, without any difference. They were united for people of the world, and our planet, and for the future of our succeeding generations.


ML: Marvelous and we actually spoke to Laurence Tubiana about how the outcome exceeded her expectations with 1.5 degrees being mentioned as an aspirational goal, with the five year ratchet and so on. And of course, the first five-year period turned out to be six years because of the pandemic, but the five-year ratchet period, the first one came up in in Glasgow COP26. So, do you think that Glasgow built sufficiently on the success of Paris when you followed the outcomes? Were you pleased, or were you disappointed?


BK-M: Half and half. I had a much higher expectation in Glasgow. And it's true that the UK Government officials led by Alok Sharma and many other foreign minister, everyone who was concentrating their time and energy to make it a great success. Of course, at the end, at the end, there are some positive developments and some disappointing developments. And while we know that we entered negotiation without large emitters being present on a leadership level, like Brazil, China, India, Russia, we did some successes like South Africa has a deal with a donor countries to end the coal in the next 20 years. And Nigeria's pledge to cut emissions to net to zero by 2060. What and also one was that we were able to have rulebook, which has been pending for five years rule book was done now. And the China and United States had made some agreement on reducing methane, methane, as well as some other political agreement. Now, in on methane pledge, there are more than 100 countries that joined that was a positive one, over 20 countries have signed the statement on aligning international public finance with a clean energy transition. That was a first time. First time a broad group of countries have agreed on the need to shift overseas finance away from all fossil fuels and financial institutions and instruments and toward the clean energy. Now, there is some disappointing issues that they were not able to agree on the roadmap of funding 100 billion dollars, as they have agreed in 2009 in Copenhagen, I sincerely  hoped that the big countries donor countries would have agreed on this. Now, one positive thing one, one thing is that they agreed to agree, they agree to agree in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt next year for that. So without providing financial and technological support to developing countries, we will never be able to expect that we can we can do it. Then Global Energy Alliance for people and planet signaled an importance of much needed philanthropic capital to catalyze much greater levels of investment needed for countries to achieve their energy access. Now, then another one is some disappointing is that they have not been able to agree on carbon neutrality 2060. They just because of the Indian objection, they agreed that by or around the middle of the century. But another positive aspect is nobody's talking about that. Everybody's talking about carbon neutrality 2050 even though legally speaking people agreed  that by around the middle of the century. That means it can go to a to 2070  as India insisted. But you know, many countries including South Korea, they have firmly committed to carbon neutrality 2050. So, we must make sure that carbon neutrality 2050 and ambitious NDCs by 2030 nationally determined contributions. Otherwise, otherwise, global temperature will rise to 2.1 degrees or 2.4 degrees Celsius. That's something which I would never like to even, you know, imagine. So, we have to work very hard. Very hard.


ML: Interesting because I mean, in a sense, those are a list of the disappointments in a way. But I look at it. And I say, Well, you know, in the Paris Agreement, net zero was before the end of the century. And so you know that I look at the direction of travel, I don't see Glasgow as the destination. But I see it as an incredible improvement and tightening along the way from Paris, using the Paris framework. So I think you may be being too modest about the success of Paris, in getting us on this arc, this bending curve of emissions.


BK-M: When you have a higher expectation, then there is naturally some more expect <inaudible> disappointment, but basically, I'm a positive thinking person, positive thinking, without positive thinking, without positive mind, you will never be able to make any success. So, in that regard, believe, trust me that I'm a positive thinking. So, there are many positive issues, positive issues. Yeah.


ML: Let me turn to one of the achievements of Glasgow but the issue that it highlights which is the US-China relationship, and we've just had actually one of the recent episodes was with David Sandalow, who's one of the great experts on that US China relationship, as pertains to climate. We saw the agreement, both before Paris and before Glasgow between the US and China, which really enabled the agreements to be signed. But is it really possible to be optimistic? You know, given the rising tensions between those two blocks between those two countries? How optimistic can we be I'm just very concerned that if we see supply chains being separated, if we see a Chinese internet and the US internet, if we see more and more tensions in trade, but also in actual spheres of influence in Southeast Asia, is climate action likely to be at some point, a casualty?


BK-M: Well, considering this political confrontational relationship between US and China, I think in Glasgow, they made the good positive, positive cooperation when it comes to climate. And that is the most important part. As you know, US government or some other people was saying that there was C three big capital C, confrontation, you know, cooperation and competition. But this is the cooperation area, area of cooperation, I was happy to see an obvious presence of us at the COP 26, including President Biden himself, and John Kerry, John Kerry, Special Envoy, and also he had a very good meeting with his counterpart of China. Xie Zhenhua now, while there is clearly a political risk, it is also disappointment that US did not enter negotiation with financial stamina to back this up now. It was also a positive surprise, surprise, to see the US and China issued join the Glasgow Declaration on enhancing climate action in the 2020s, which sets a good example and shows the dedication from the two countries towards combating climate action. I have been speaking out that without Chinese support, and working together between President Obama and the President Xi Jinping, this, Paris climate change would not have been possible. We might not have Paris agreement at this time, if this kind of a political confrontational situation continues. It was because President Obama and President Xi Jinping worked together when there was G7, G20. summit meeting in Hangzhou in 2016. President Xi Jinping took an initiative to invite the President Xi Jinping and myself. So three of us met before the G20 summit meeting began. That was If my memory serves me correct, September 3 2016, then the initiative was that suppose the present should China and the United State presented the, I mean, ratification certificate that they have ratified Paris Climate Change Agreement, the rate of emission level, combined by two countries became 42%, out of 55%, which was required to enable the Paris Climate Change Agreement to be ratified… effective, effective. So having 55 countries and with 55%, of global greenhouse gas emission was a huge task. But just two countries have taken 42% It was easy. So that's why the Paris climate change was became effective on 4 of November 2016, 2016. Then, just imagine, suppose what had happened? Suppose it had not happened. After two months, President Trump came into power, and he withdrew from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, then we would not have this one even now. So, I'm still these days, you know, sighing, having a deep sigh of relief, deep sigh, sigh of relief, that we are having this one. Now, the matter of cooperation between China and the United States is something which I asked and urged them to work on this global issues first, rather than, you know, confronting on political or security issues. I think first come should first, the climate does not discriminate, who is the United States or China, they just, you know, take their own course, nature listen to what we say. We must listen to the voices a warning of the nature.


ML: Right, we can't negotiate with physics. But what we've got now is a potential collision course, between the goals of climate action, and the various foreign policy and also human rights requirements of the world. Because as you know, the great success of Paris, and then Glasgow and so on, is built on the fact that renewable energy has become so cheap, that it has become much more of a no regrets. It's become no regrets for countries to adopt climate action or a much lower than regret. And that's been because of the lowering of costs. And a lot of that has been driven by supply chains by Chinese manufacturing. And of course, a lot of the solar grade silicon comes from Xinjiang province, where, which is the epicenter of China's activities around the Uyghurs. And the US has now passed legislation saying that companies must certify must be transparent, that their supply chains are slave labor free. And this is, of course, very, it's very confrontational, it's very contentious. But surely, that sort of human rights, that scale of human rights, abuse and the action does that not trump the short-term requirements to deal with climate action?


BK-M: Now, I'm not saying this because I'm trying to support what China is doing. I'm just saying this one out of my own experiences or wisdom, I think we need we need to have a wisdom in addressing all political, economic or global challenges issues or human rights issues. There is something which needs to be done first, then, we can do it later. When there is a fire, you must put the fire first and save otherwise you cannot save humans you know who people may who may be there stop stocked up their human rights, is inalienable rights of human beings. And we had UN Human Rights Council where we can address this one but as I said earlier, the climate change does not care where you are coming from, it’s nature versus humanity, humanity versus planet Earth, or climate versus planet Earth. So we have only one planet Earth, and we have only one life. So we have to take urgent action, urgent action, regardless of what just to put our fire, which is burning. sea level is rising, climate change is approaching much, much faster. And then before and then may, we might expect there's no time to lose. Therefore, I'm very urging political leaders use your wisdom, use your wisdom first, and think about our own humanity, future of humanity and our planet earth, then let's work on that first, then let's talk about human rights. Then, you know, I'm, as a former Secretary General, I have been a vocal, you know, support a vocal, you know, criticising those countries who do not support us human rights. And I'm doing same thing again now. But this time, at this time, we have to put up fire first, we have no time. Nature has its own way. We can, we cannot negotiate with the nature. That's what I had been repeatedly saying even 10-15 years ago, when I was a secretary general. Now even after my, you know, assignment, responsibilities of secretary general I'm repeating same thing, let's, let's focus on this issue.


ML: But it isn't the reality, though, that we have to deal with both issues at once. The human rights, it's, you know, there are others who would say the human rights is the fire, and that climate change is the one that is it. Of course, it's going to… it is a decadal problem. But the human rights are here and now. And, you know, you've already mentioned that as part of your role as chair of the ethics committee of the IOC, you will be going to Beijing for the Olympics, the US, the UK, Australia and Canada have declared a diplomatic boycott. Is that an appropriate way of dealing with these two issues at the same time? Or do you think they should put that aside, go, celebrate the Olympics, deal with climate change and come back to the human rights issues?


BK-M: Let there be no misunderstanding. Let there be no misunderstanding, I don't want to be misunderstood by you know what I have said that I'm not paying attention to human rights. I am much, much more a vocal person when it comes to human rights. I have been working for women's rights I've been working for the same sex people, who are discriminated from our daily lives. And let there be no misunderstanding that I'm going to Beijing despite all this diplomatic boycott, this has nothing to do with that diplomatic boycott. I am the chairman of the Ethics Commission of IOC, I have to be there. During the games, it is mandatory is mandatory. I'm doing my own job as a chairman of the Ethics Commission. There was some report that my going there became a news, but this has nothing to do with current political issues one human rights issue, I am going there, then what about IOC President? Why he's going there, same logic there What about all these sports people, athletes? So I think we should not mix sports with politics, and we should not mix this a climate with the human rights. We will continue, we will continue to focus we will continue to argue against China to improve the human rights, but at the same time, we have to address the urgent, the most urgent issues we have to tackle this climate issue.


ML: So I'm not sure if you recall, in fact, I am also an Olympic athlete, I was a skier in 1992. So what you said about the athletes should not certainly be caught up in any of this because this is their career, their life, their aspirations. This is everything to them. I have probably come down in a different place on the diplomatic boycott, which I believe is actually a justified and appropriate thing. But I also appreciate that your role as chair of the Ethics Committee is very different and you have professional responsibilities. It is an incredibly complex area. And we don't really have time, we could do a whole other episode of Cleaning Up on how the Olympics could be used to further action on climate and also human rights and those very important issues that you raised about gender inclusion, and, and also LGBT issues, we had a fantastic conversation with Lord Brown, the most senior gay business people in the world, former CEO of BP. But as I said we're out of time, so sadly. But I would love to thank you for coming on to Cleaning Up for talking with us for sharing some memories of the Paris Agreements, and your thoughts on some of the most pressing current issues of the day. It's really, truly a privilege to speak with you.


BK-M: Thank you very much, it has been a great pleasure. And thank you for your leadership, continuing leadership on working on energy, and climate and all human rights issues. And let us work together to make this world a sustainable and better for all. That's our moral responsibility for me. I do not have any political and legal responsibility now, but as probably one of the private citizens, but with the using my other titles and I'm going to continue until we can declare that we have done something to make this a sustainable world. Thank you very much. And hope to see you again soon.


ML: Thank you very much. And indeed, I very much hope that we can meet in person soon. Thank you.


BK-M: Okay, thank you. Bye, bye, Happy New Year to you.


ML: Thank you. Bye. So that was Mr. Ban Ki-moon 8th Secretary General of the United Nations. My guest next week will be Pat Romano CEO of ChargePoint. The US’s leading technology provider for electric vehicle charging. Please join me at this time next week for a conversation with Pat Romano.

Cleaning Up is brought to you by the Liebreich Foundation and the Gilardini Foundation.