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UN Secretary-General Highlights Corporate Sustainability as Critical Theme at UNCSD

21 June 2011:  At the Board meeting of the UN Global Compact, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for more businesses around the world to accept the principles of the Global Compact and for corporate sustainability to feature prominently at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

Reaching a critical mass of members will be essential "to help retool markets and economies towards sustainability," Ban noted at the meeting held in New York, US, on 21 June 2011. He also stressed the quality of engagement, noting the importance not just of joining the Compact but of embracing and advocating its principles - the only way to make a real contribution. The Secretary-General also called on businesses to improve their practices. He noted that the Global Compact Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership was developed in response to the difficulty for businesses of developing more sustainable practices that can address the complexity of areas such as energy, food and water.

He highlighted that the Global Compact will undertake major initiatives at the UNCSD, including through a private sector track to bring the voice of business to the intergovernmental debate, in order to provide viable solutions for alleviating poverty, creating  jobs and accelerating the transition to a green economy.

In a message delivered by Kim Won-soo, Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Chef de Cabinet, to the lunch with ambassadors and the UN Global Compact Board, the Secretary-General also stressed the need for public-private collaboration in preparing for Rio+20, noting that sustainability is a challenge for governments, businesses and all sectors. [Statement of Secretary-General at Board Meeting] [Message from Secretary-General for Board Lunch]