GENEVA, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Amid ongoing misery in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and South Sudan, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged leaders on Monday to up the ante to end crises which continue to negatively impact the lives of millions across the world.
"There are of course many fires that are still burning because of the lack of commitment for peace by the leaders of the world, particularly leaders of the parties to the conflicts," he told Xinhua in a press conference here.
"What is most important is the lack of political will. The leaders have a tendency to address all the issues only on their own national interests, but this world is very small and tightly interconnected," he added.
The UN chief strongly condemned the unrelenting brutality endured by those trapped in Syria's northern city of Aleppo, the scene of heavy fighting between government forces and rebel factions seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He also deplored the humanitarian situation in war-torn Yemen, where four out of every five Yemenis need assistance to survive, as well as the tens of thousands of people in Nigeria's Borno and Yobe states who are living in famine conditions.
The diplomat, whose mandate will come to a close at the end of the year, highlighted that the UN plays a crucial role in promoting peace and abating crises through mediations and facilitations carried out by special envoys, representatives as well as preventive diplomacy teams.
Despite the international community's best efforts, he warned that injustice, impunity and inequality are still all too prevalent and are often the root causes of conflict and discontent.
He also said that the UN has but a limited capacity to address key issues such as fighting violent extremism.
"Not a single country, not a single organisation can handle this matter unless there is an interconnected, tight collaboration and solidarity shown by world leaders," he said.
The UN chief reminded that terrorism, together with other issues plaguing the lives of millions across the world, can only be resolved if world leaders pay more attention to them.
He also highlighted the importance of preventive diplomacy to inhibit the development of crises.
"The United Nations under my period has paid more attention on preventive diplomacy rather than just countering and defeating and trying to solve problems once fire has broken out," he said.
"Once something has broken out, it has its own dynamics to spread, and that's why I've been emphasising the importance of preventive diplomacy," he added.
Against this backdrop, Ban reminded however that international cooperation can be achieved, as demonstrated by the international community's commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, both landmark covenants reached last year.
"Globally, we have seen that progress is possible," Ban said.
"These agreements show that leaders can tackle sensitive issues and advance together," he added.
The Secretary-General will travel to Bern on October 4, where he will meet with the Federal Council of Switzerland.