New York

02 July 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at United Nations Global Compact Board Meeting [as prepared for delivery]

Good afternoon. I am pleased to join this first Global Compact Board meeting this year.

I appreciate your time and commitment to this valuable initiative.

I understand that you have been holding very productive discussions. I am pleased that you had the chance also to meet with the Advisory Council on the Principles for Responsible Investment. It is essential to deepen your collaboration so that we can make the most of markets as a powerful driver of responsible corporate practices.

We are now on track to reach a critical mass of companies in the Global Compact.

This initiative has self-sustaining networks in 100 countries, with more than 8,000 companies on board. More than 1,000 companies are engaged on issue platforms covering climate, water, gender, children’s rights, food and peace. Our country networks are taking greater ownership on the ground – where we have the most potential to catalyse action.

We see this in the Business for Peace initiative I launched at the last Leaders Summit. Nearly twenty country networks have already committed to advance our goals. These include countries in need of peace and stability solutions, such as Colombia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan and Turkey.

This year has again been very busy for the Global Compact. We have major events to advance responsible corporate practices and investments in Africa, to support my Climate Summit in September and beyond, to tackle corruption, and to empower women.

These issues are central to our new push for sustainable development.

This year we are laying the groundwork for success in 2015 on three fronts: achieving the Millennium Development Goals, adopting a meaningful new climate agreement, and establishing a new vision for a sustainable future.

I thank the Global Compact for elevating post-2015 priorities on the agendas of business around the world.

I welcome your ideas on how the private sector can help turn our goals into reality, and the paper released today on this topic. By consulting with companies all around the world on the post-2015 agenda, you are bringing important insights and ideas to the table.

The year 2015 also marks the 15th anniversary of the Global Compact itself. This is the first and only public-private initiative of the United Nations based on network governance. Its unique role and attributes have enabled it to grow and innovate beyond all expectations. The initiative has transitioned to a new phase defined by global strength and action.

One of my top priorities is to harness the full power of partnership across the range of UN activities and to scale up UN capacity to engage in transformative actions with the private sector as well as civil society, philanthropy and academia. This is why I have proposed establishing a new UN Partnership Facility. The Global Compact work and experience will be crucial to this effort.

Now, the Global Compact is poised to do even more. I count on your leadership and guidance.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.