2015 brings both “breakthrough and horror”

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses journalists at his end-of-year press conference. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The year 2015 has brought both "breakthrough and horror" according to the United Nations Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking at his end-of-year press conference at UN headquarters in New York in which he reviewed global events over the past 12 months.

Matthew Wells reports.

"The year 2015 has brought both breakthrough and horror."

That's the UN Secretary-General's assessment of the past 12 months, a year which has seen international terrorism on the rise, and which has caused millions of people to flee the Middle East and parts of Africa.

Mr Ban said the international community needs to do more to help people escaping conflict.

"This year we have seen epic flows of refugees and internally displaced persons.  As we enter 2016, the world needs to aim for a new global compact on human mobility. Demonizing and scapegoating people based on their religion, ethnicity or country of origin has no place in the 21st century."

While the world has witnessed the growing horror of extremism, Mr Ban said there were significant milestones too, including the finalization of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the UN in September and a global agreement in Paris a week ago on reducing climate change. 

"The Paris Agreement surpassed expectations.  World leaders recognized that we could and must do better than settling for the lowest common denominator.  So they reached higher.  The Paris Agreement gives us Plan A for the planet – A for ambition."

Looking ahead to 2016, he highlighted the World Humanitarian Summit in May in Istanbul as a critical moment to address systemic funding problems, and try to reach agreement on concrete steps to better prepare for, and respond to, multiple crises.

Matthew Wells, United Nations

Duration: 1’36″

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