New York

11 May 2017

Secretary-General's remarks at High-Level Meeting Commemorating Adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution Establishing Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Day

[Delivered by Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet]

It is a great pleasure to be here to join you in commemorating the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution Establishing Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.
These enterprises are among the world’s most powerful job creators, drivers of productivity, and agents of growth globally.
We simply cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without the support and leadership from such enterprises worldwide.
By designating this commemorative Day, the General Assembly has recognized the importance of these enterprises in achieving the SDGs – especially by promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all.
Micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises represent around 90% of global economic activity. They are on the front lines of embracing transformative technologies and new business models.
By leveraging their ingenuity and creativity to harness new market opportunities, they can lead the way towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.
That is why these enterprises are at the heart of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.
The UN Global Compact involves over 9,000 companies from 162 countries committed to doing business responsibly and advancing the SDGs. Over half of these business participants are small and medium-sized enterprises.
Micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises are powerful partners. They can have tremendous impact in embedding responsible business practices and sustainability in today’s complex global value chains.
Their power and potential to help us achieve the 2030 Agenda is very clear.
At the same time, we need broader cooperation to foster greater economic development and tackle the challenges faced by micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises.
This includes partnerships for capacity building, integrating these enterprises into the formal economy, and ensuring greater access to financial services, microfinance and credit.
In all of these areas, governments, the UN, civil society and business all stand to benefit if we work together. Going forward, June 27 will be an important day for us to renew our resolve to collaborate for a life of dignity for all.
Thank you.