(New York, 10 January 2007) – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today addressed the New York business community at an event hosted by the UNA-USA Business Council for the United Nations and the Association for a Better New York. In his first speech outside of the United Nations as Secretary-General, Ban proclaimed: “The United Nations and business need each other.”
Stressing that business, trade and investment are “essential pillars of peace and prosperity”, the Secretary-General 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. According to Ban, in today’s inter-dependent world business and the UN share common goals of “building and supporting strong economies and communities, providing opportunities for people to pursue a livelihood, and ensuring that everyone can live in dignity”.
Secretary-General Ban deemed the Global Compact as central to the United Nations’ engagement with the private sector. He stated that widespread social and economic gains can result when business engages in responsible practices which respect human rights, ensure safe workplaces, exercise environmental care and are not corrupt. The Secretary-General concluded his remarks by calling on business “to advance universal principles within your spheres of influence”.