Statements home | Search results | Full text

Print this article

Email this article

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Tokyo (Japan)

29 June 2008

Remarks at reception with leaders of the Global Compact Japan Network

[Spoken in Japanese.] Toshio Arima Kaicho, Takasu Taishi and Minasama konnichiwa.

Tokyo de Kokuren no Global Compact Japan member ni oaidekite koueide gozaimasu.

Imakara Eigode Hanashimasu. [It is indeed an honor to meet in Tokyo with members of the Global Compact Japan. Now I will speak in English.]

This is a great pleasure to meet all of you. In fact, this is the first time for me to come in the public place without a tie. This is a part of my commitment to support the Japanese Government's “cool biz” to conserve energy.

Than you very much for such a strong support of the Global Compact Japan's members to conserve energy and to participate in our common efforts to fight against the global warming.

I am very pleased to visit Japan in my capacity as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the first time and this is the first official function for me in Tokyo.

Next week, I will attend the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, where Governments will discuss pressing issues related to the global economy, the environment, and development in Africa.

I would like to salute the leadership of Japan and particularly Prime Minister Fukuda for his leadership and initiative to lead this G8 Summit meeting.

This G8 Summit meeting is being held at the crucially important time when the international community is faced with a triple crisis. We have the global food crisis, climate change and development emergency particularly in Africa. Those agenda items are the global agenda which are on the agenda of the United Nations' agenda. In this regard, I really appreciate the Japanese Government's initiative.

In the regard, it is very much fitting for me to meet all very distinguished business leaders of Japan whose support and cooperation is crucial and vitally important.

A Global Compact network was established in Japan already six years ago, and I applaud your recent decision to adopt a structure led by CEOs. By increasing participation at the corporate executive level, the Japan Network is truly supporting the Global Compact's leadership model – which recognizes that long-term, active commitment to organizational change must be led by top management.

Your model will be a powerful inspiration for other Local Networks seeking to transition to business-led structures.

It is my sincere hope that your newly energized network will also be an inspiration for implementation of the Global Compact principles. Japan has a long history of innovation, and we live in a time when corporate practices are essential. We need more business actions that are good for both society and your companies.

The race is underway to develop and provide needed solutions, such as clean technology, renewable energy, efficient products and processes, and sustainable goods and services. I have no doubt that the Japanese companies will play a leadership role in this new era of responsible and sustainable business, as well as in corporate good governance, another central tenet of the compact.

I am heartened that so much has been achieved since you embarked on this journey with the Global Compact. And thank you very much for your supporting and strengthening the network in Japan.

Since my predecessor Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched this Global Compact several years ago, I am very much encouraged that this GC has expanded to and embraced more than 5,000 world-class business executives.

Business leaders are one of the most important there pillars which I regard highly important.

We have the government leadership -- this is government and the United Nations, and business leadership and civil community participation.

There you take a great important leadership role in advancing our common initiative and common efforts to fight against climate change to eradicate poverty and to eradicate disease and also to work for overcoming global food crisis.

I think that the Japanese Government, the Japanese people, and the Japanese business leaders, you have a special, political and moral responsibility to lead this campaign. Each in everyone, every company you represent all global companies. They need your active participation and leadership. This is what as the Secretary-General I am doing. I am meeting global network leaders here and I am going to meet in China and in Korea. I have been meeting all Global Compact members all around the world wherever I visited.

Through practicing the 10 principle which you have agreed of the Global Compact, you are not engaging only in business interest or business transactions, business activities you are helping many developing countries and many people around the world first of all to promote democracy, good governance, fair competition, good labour management relationship and promotion of human rights -- all these are important principles, which the United Nations really wants to promote together with you.

I count on your continued leadership by example. This will be very important. Whatever you do by example, you give a great message, strong and powerful message all throughout the world so that the whole world can live in harmony and common prosperity and this is what we are now aiming for.

And I thank you very much for your commitment and I hope to work very closely with you.

Domo arigato gozaimashita.