U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he's disappointed by many world leaders who care more about retaining power than improving the lives of their people — and can't understand why Syria is being held hostage to "the destiny" of one man, President Bashar Assad.

Nearing the end of his 10 years at the helm of the world body, Ban spoke frankly about the state of the world and his successes, failures and frustrations as U.N. chief in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press.

Ban is the public face of the organization but he said that in private leaders see a very different and much tougher side of him.

While people say he has been "quiet," Ban said he has spoken out on human rights more than any Western leader.