Obama and Ban joke about retirement plans during UN luncheon

US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon saluted each other and shared retirement jokes Tuesday at a luncheon marking the last time both leaders would participate in the UN General Assembly in their current roles.

For the first time in history, the terms of both posts - that of UN secretary general and US president - will conclude just 20 days apart from each other, at the end of 2016 and early 2017 respectively.

"Mr President, we need to think about what we are going to do, each other, for you and for me personally after our retirement," Ban said.

"I challenge you to a round of golf, maybe. But please don't challenge me to a game of basketball."

On a more serious note, Ban thanked Obama for his support of the United Nations over the recent years.

"Your efforts and political and all support have advanced United Nations causes while upholding our shared goals and values: freedom, equality, democracy and peace," Ban said.

Obama praised Ban for his "outstanding leadership" of the UN, noting that his life story has been an example for many.

"You've traveled a remarkable journey - born in a village in South Korea, rising to the highest levels of global leadership," Obama said. "It is a testimony to your courage and your optimism, your imagination and your will."

Ban is set to finish his UN tenure at the end of this year after serving two five-year terms beginning in 2006. Obama's second term as US president will end on January 20, 2017, after eight years in office.

Last update: Wed, 21/09/2016 - 01:11

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