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Ban Ki Moon at Italian Academy on October 26th, 2016, by Maristella Lorch

The themes he dealt with are obviously the quintessential premises of the most desirable yet almost impossible aim to reach: “Peace in the world,” the most pressing need for the survival of the humanity of today.

The simplest answer seems to be “global citizenship,” which is definitely unreachable because of the problems involved such as poverty, women discrimination, global warming, among the many.

The speaker added with a smile: “I am a relentless optimist. If I were not such, I wouldn’t have resisted a day in my position”.

Ban Ki Moon confessed that his job may be frustrating when trying to “Unite” the “Nations” that are nowadays still so “dis-united”. For him, the biggest problem seems to be the countless wars scattered all around the world, from Asia to Africa, causing “refugees” from the South of the world as from Mexico and Syria. Thousands and thousands of people abandon their home, looking for a better life in the “Nord” in the hemisphere.

As I understood, Ban Ki Moon focused his attention mainly on problems of refugees flowing from Syria into Europe.  A refugee is forced to leave the security of home, a.e. the center of human life, as a family as well as individual, escaping from war and hunger in mass.According to Ban Ki Moon nations should start facing the problem“globally”, following the example of the countries which receive the refugees first, as Germany did.

Fortunately, some in have created “villages” for them, other countries like Southern Italy, Sicily in particular, have opened their arms to them. Others,  I add, like England, in spite of its long colonization experience, don’t participate in the solution of the problem. England has found a “creative” way to solve the problem closing the door to the migrants, thus forcing other nations like France to create “villages” in order not to throw them in the Ocean. (The speaker did not go into “tricky” details of European politics, but implied them).

Everybody would agree with Ban Ki Moon on the urgency of solving the problem of global warming, a long existing problem which remains difficult to be recognized as such.The speaker specified that the UN have been more pressed then oppressed by this particular problem, for obvious reasons.

I was happy to hear from Ban Ki Moon that many nations recognized the above as real problems, for which no easy solution exists.He apologized for having presented more problems than solutions.

When, after the lecture, I met him personally Mr. Ban Ki Moon was very interested in knowing how I acquired my current title of Director Emerita of The Italian Academy for Advances Studies in America. He seems to be even happier to know that I was 96 as his own mother.

I personally fell proud that the event hosted by the Italian Academy filled the theater to capacity.

Rick Whitaker, director of the Theatre, with the rest of the staff,contributed as usual to this First Class event.

Maristella Lorch

(with her assistant Mariagrazia De Luca)