15 January 2007

Ban Ki-Moon: "The UN and business need each other - UN Global Compact at center."

Last week the new head of the UN Ban Ki-Moon delivered an important speech for the Global Compact where he commited to carry forward the initiative which got started 7 years ago by Kofi Annan.

In his first speech outside of the United Nations as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the global business community and the United Nations share many of the same goals, such as supporting strong economies and giving people the opportunity to make a living. Although the business world tends to focus on profit while the UN aims more for peace, better health and human rights, "the United Nations and business need each other," Ban told the Business Council for the United Nations and the Association for a Better New York.
"At the center of the Organization's engagement with business is the United Nations Global Compact. It brings together government, business, labour and civil society – both globally and locally based on the conviction that business practices rooted in universal values can help bring social and economic gains".
-- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, January 2007
Ban stressed that business, trade and investment are "essential pillars of peace and prosperity" , and confirmed that the United Nations must engage more fully with non-state actors in order to bring about a prosperous, more secure and peaceful world.

Link to Official Speech Transcript
Article in the The Guardian (London)