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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Deputy Secretary-General: Statements

Stockholm, Sweden, 26 November 2014 - Deputy Secretary-General's video message to the 2014 Volvo Group Sustainability Forum

Dear Forum Participants,

I commend the Volvo Group Sustainability Forum for focusing this year’s discussions on the crucial issue of the UN post-2015 development agenda. 

The United Nations welcomes your views and your contributions to this agenda.  We know it will take partnership between governments, business, civil society and others to make the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda tangible realities in people’s lives around the world.   

Companies, large and small, growingly understand the importance of sustainability in today’s globalized world.   Ignoring environmental, social and governance issues can clearly hurt a company’s bottom-line and ability to thrive.

Strong markets and strong societies go hand in hand. Instability and unemployment harm economies and limit opportunities.  The same goes for disease, degraded environments, and poor access to food, water and energy. Now more than ever, it is critical for the business community to tackle these challenges and create shared value for the global economy and for millions and millions of people.

Many of your companies are already working with the United Nations through our Global Compact programme.   I thank you for your engagement and commitment. 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recently appointed Volvo’s President and CEO Olof Persson to co-lead the UN High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport.  That is just one example of business leadership in partnership with the United Nations, advancing climate action and sustainable development.

There is much promising work underway.  But we must all, including the private sector, deliver more.  Business leaders like you can lead by example vis-à-vis your colleagues, staff and customers – and, by that, help communities and nations.

I am confident that this Forum will stimulate broader discussion and cooperation between companies, governments, civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations.  We can together accelerate action towards sustainable development.

By the end of September next year, after negotiations, the new set of goals are to be adopted.  Your contributions will be valuable in this important process.   In this way, we will also broaden and deepen the commitment to achieve a life of dignity for all. 

Let me finally warmly congratulate the distinguished Laureate of the Volvo Environment Prize whose work is of such a crucial importance for sustainable development.

I wish the Forum all success.

Thank you.

Statements on 26 November 2014