Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks to UN Global Compact Board

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 16 December 2011

Distinguished Global Compact Board Members,

Good morning and welcome to this last meeting of the Global Compact Board in 2011.

Let me begin by thanking those whose terms are coming to an end.

Habiba Al-Marashi, Anne Lauvergeon, Futhi Mtoba – thank you for your service to the Global Compact and your commitment to the United Nations.

You have been true champions of our shared cause. We look forward to staying in close contact with you. I know we can count on your continued support.

As we enter 2012, I am very encouraged by the Global Compact's growth and evolution.

Your influence and engagement has spread far and wide, including through the Compact's local networks.

But today, I want to stress the need for your help to take the Global Compact to the next level.

The initiative has matured. Today the challenge goes beyond having companies build the ten principles into their strategies and operations. We also want them to focus on the Compact's second objective and become an active partner in the UN's broader mission.

Much of the Compact's work focuses on forging public-private partnerships to address critical issues – from women's empowerment to children's rights to sustainable energy.

The Rio+20 Conference next June is a major opportunity for the Compact to bring such a partnership agenda to full scale.

For you as board members, this means intensifying efforts in the coming months. By the time we meet in Rio, I hope that this Board will reconstitute itself as a Global Compact Partnership Board, with the capacity to provide guidance on the rapidly evolving sustainable development agenda.

We all know that corporate sustainability, as advanced by the Global Compact, is a critical building block to a more sustainable future.

Public-private partnerships have the potential to deliver truly transformational, systemic change. Many of the solutions and innovations already exist. At Rio, let us fully utilize this historic opportunity.

Dear friends,

As I enter my second term, sustainable development is our leading priority. The private sector is an integral partner. I count on all of you to help lead the way.

Now I look forward to hearing an update about your work.

[Board Member interventions]

I will join you again at lunch with UN ambassadors. I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of this meeting and continuing our discussion, specifically on the business contribution to Rio+20.

Thank you.