SEOUL – May 19, 2015 – GGGI Council Chair and President of the Assembly, Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, addressed the United Nations Global Compact Korea Leaders forum today. In a crowd that included U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and GGGI Director-General Yvo de Boer, Dr. Yudhoyono spoke of the important role the private sector has to play in addressing climate-related issues.
Below is the full text of the speech.
Address by H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Indonesia’s Sixth President
At the UN Global Compact
Korea Leaders Summit 2015
Conrad Hotel, Seoul.
19 May 2015
Your Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Your Excellency Mr. Kyung-hwan Choi, Acting Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is always great to be back in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and I am pleased to join all of you here for the UNGC Korea Leaders Summit 2015.
I join others in this room in expressing my sincere appreciation to Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon for opening this summit, and for his energetic leadership.
I totally agree with him that in essence businesses have a critical role in the global efforts to achieve sustainable development goals in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Indeed, we live in a time where the private sector has the capacity to do a lot more than Governments not just to create wealth but to change the fate of societies. There can be no vision about the 21st century without a vision for business. And I do believe, from my endless conversations with business leaders, that the private sector is keen to do their part.
The role of business becomes ever more relevant because, despite the impressive gains over the last 15 years regarding the Millennium Development Goals, the global community continues to grapple with serious challenges.
In the absence of a global consensus, climate change remains a huge risk for the future of the human race. We are experiencing growing resource scarcity as a result of population growth and unrestrained consumption. We are witnessing the loss of biodiversity, forests and water resources.
These stress points, if left unchecked, threaten to undo all that we have achieved in recent years. They also severely inhibit social and economic growth in the years to come.
What is encouraging is that we the global community have clearly identified these challenges and have come together to address them to ensure a viable and vibrant environment for generations to come.
Since establishing the Global Compact, more and more businesses throughout the world are committing to this vision and are partnering with various stakeholders for sustainable development. I believe we now have grown to over 7,500 business signatories in more than 140 countries and 101 Local Networks.
The more these businesses succeed in main-streaming into their strategy the UN Global Compact’s 10 core principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, anti-corruption and the environment, the more businesses can help foster sustainable development and more resilient societies everywhere.
There are those who may argue at first sight that these adjustments will take a toll on business. Well, change is usually not easy, but in the end it does pay off. After all, a good business is good for business.
Business, perhaps more so than Governments, are already contributing significantly to sustainable development through creative innovations that are helping to realize low-carbon economies and transition toward green growth.
As we all know, for green growth to fully materialize, countries need creative solutions – in financing, technological development and transfer, and development cooperation as well as sharing knowledge and experience. Business is uniquely positioned to deliver all this.
One key mandate of the Global Compact is to facilitate environments where business can effectively and transparently partner with green growth and development stakeholders to provide these services.
We are delighted that to date, Global Compact Local Networks have taken root in over 140 countries. They are making important contributions to building markets, combating corruption, safe-guarding the environment and ensuring social inclusion, and strengthening unprecedented partnerships and openness between business, governments, civil society, labor and the United Nations.
But I do believe we are only touching the tip of the iceberg. We can grow to a lot more than the present 7,500 business signatories. We need to push harder to raise awareness among businesses – especially micro, small and medium size businesses – about the Global Compact and how they too can join.
There is an ocean of opportunities and resources that remain untapped by business through the Global Compact to develop sustainable business strategy and operations around the world, and strengthen business collaboration and action in support of UN goals and issues.
On the cusp of the post-2015 development era, this summit is timely, and presents an important opportunity for business to further catalyze new strategies, partnerships and initiatives that will contribute to achieving sustainable development.
I am confident that all of us here will make the absolute most of this valuable opportunity.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Acting Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Kyung-hwan Choi, the Government of the Republic of Korea, and the Global Compact Korea for organizing and hosting the UNGC Korea Leaders Summit 2015.
Time and again, Korea has shown its leadership toward achieving inclusive and sustainable development. Its hosting and continuous support of multiple international organizations, such as the Global Green Growth Institute, that are working to support this goal clearly demonstrates Korea’s commitment.
GGGI is a very good organization, to implement the Green Growth and Sustainable Development globally. That’s why I am here, as the Chair of GGGI.
I therefore have no doubt that our hosts will provide all that is necessary to ensure fruitful discussion and facilitate successful summit outcomes.