When United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, he did so against the counsel of some of his senior advisers. He had some tough words for the assembly, suggesting they were captive to "old-think", warning them not to "hide behind utopian logic", and reminding them that the group had "remained unable to begin substantive negotiations" since at least 2011.But the Secretary-General also had some encouraging, if unconventional, words for the Conference as well, involving an imaginary animal: a blue horse.
Let me begin by wishing you all the best for the happy new year. In my part of the world, 2014, this year has been designated the “year of the blue horse”.
A horse represents of course vigour and speed – and a blue horse of course is an animal of imagination...
Even though your mandate is to disarm, today, I say, “Arm yourself, arm yourself with the spirit of blue horse and run. Run fast and run far.”Despite the Secretary-General's exhortation, if the past is any guide, the Conference on Disarmament will continue to find its goal as elusive as that mythical blue horse armed with its spirit or not.