United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered a hard-hitting Speech in his tenth and final speech at the U.N. General Assembly. His Speech was directed against a host of world leaders from Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to South Sudan’s Salva Kiir Mayardit.
In the Speech filled with frustration, Ban charged that: “In too many places, we see leaders rewriting constitutions, manipulating elections and taking other desperate steps to cling to power.”
Adding: “My message to all is clear: serve your people. Do not subvert democracy; do not pilfer your country’s resources; do not imprison and torture your critics.”
Although the Government of Singapore has changed the Republic’s Constitution a few times (including a pending change to the Elected Presidency scheme); although the ruling party has been accused of gerrymandering elections to give itself an unfair advantage to cling onto power; although citizens who have been detained without trial allege torture; it is highly unlikely that Ban was targeting Singapore in his Speech.
Ban made a working visit to Singapore from 29 to 30 August 2016. During his visit, he called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and was hosted to lunch by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. He was also conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by the National University of Singapore (NUS) in a ceremony at the Istana on 30 August 2016. The Honorary Degree is awarded in recognition of Mr Ban’s international efforts to promote sustainable development, human rights, global peace and security.