I am pleased to participate in this Forum. I thank UNIDO for hosting this important Forum.
I especially welcome this chance to meet with representatives of governments, the private sector, financial institutions and other partners to explore how we can better work together for our common goals.
The United Nations is dealing with many emergencies – conflicts, human rights abuses and now the Ebola crisis.
These are daily reminders that our world is interconnected – and that we have to join forces for our shared future.
That is why the United Nations is not just coping with daily crises – we are also addressing their underlying causes, including poverty and environmental degradation.
The overarching imperative for our planet’s future is sustainable development.
We meet on the eve of an important year. 2015 is the moment to agree on a new development framework.
We have a vision of a just world where resources are optimized for the good of people.
A world where we do not exploit our environment for immediate gain – we protect it for generations to come.
A world of health and literacy so people can reach their potential.
A life of dignity for all.
Inclusive and sustainable industrial development can drive success.
I see four main areas for our common action.
First: an economic transition.
This Forum is already generating results on higher-value products. I understand that partners working in Ethiopia and Senegal have agreed here to provide support to farmers and food processors. This will mean better nutrition for people and nations that are more resilient to food crises.
But to trigger a large-scale transformation, we need to encourage economies to expand from farms to factories.
The agricultural sector can generate jobs in light manufacturing industries like food processing. Those industries can be labour intensive, leading to more jobs. More jobs and higher employment mean greater social inclusion.
Greater social inclusion leads to better security and lasting peace.
Second: jobs for young people.
The world now has the largest-ever number of young people in history. They are full of energy and ideas – but nearly 75 million young people face unemployment. Without hope for decent work, they are vulnerable to extremist ideologies, drugs and crime. But with the right opportunities, these young people can make great contributions for sustainable development. They can pioneer new industries that create even more jobs in the future.
Third: climate change.
The climate challenge presents another opening for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
Smart governments and investors are exploring innovative green technologies that can protect the environment and achieve economic growth.
For industrial development to be sustainable it must abandon old models that pollute. Instead, we need sustainable approaches that help communities preserve their resources.
I am coming from Copenhagen where I launched the fifth assessment report for policy recommendation for leaders. This fifth assessment report by IPCC has made it again clear with great certainty, without any ambiguity, that climate change is happening because of human influence. If human influence has caused the climate change phenomenon then the answer is clear, human beings have to address this. The report, based on scientific resources by thousands of world class scientists, made it quite clear: it is very alarming. If we do not take action we may live to regret it for our future generations, for our planet Earth. Encouragingly, they also suggested that there is a way forward. If we take [action] today, immediately now, decisively, there is a way for us to avoid this disaster for humanity. I hope that we all change our model. As I said, [we need] a solutions-based economic model, that is what we are now discussing, inclusive sustainable industrial development.
Let me go back to the fourth suggestion: responsible business practices.
Companies have the power to foster social inclusion through their workforce policies. They can gain an enormous boost by joining the United Nations Global Compact initiative. That signals their commitment to universal principles on human rights, labour, the environment and fighting corruption.
The United Nations Global Compact [comprises] more than 8,000 world class business entities, world class cooperations, and they have voluntarily established their own caring for [the] climate. They are doing [it] on their own, trying to change, to adapt to changing climate situations.
Industrial activities are often associated with pollution and difficult work conditions. But I believe that we can address those issues while making industry synonymous with dynamism, jobs and sustainability.
Let us advance inclusive and sustainable industrial development for its own sake – and as part of our broader campaign to protect our planet and all people in the future. It is our, and your, moral and political responsibility to work together, to make this world better for all, where nobody is left behind.
I thank you for your leadership. Thank you.