Secretary-General Calls for Private Sector Track at Rio+20 Conference

(New York) – Acknowledging the critical role of business in addressing global development challenges, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for a strong private sector track at next year’sUN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

In a message delivered during a luncheon of Global Compact Board members and representatives of UN Member States, the Secretary-General highlighted the success of business participation in the recent UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV), held in Istanbul. Stressing that the first formal integration of business had brought “significant” results, the Secretary-General urged to “carry this spirit of public-private collaboration forward” to Rio+20 and called for Government support “to ensure that the skills, leadership, resources and innovation of business contribute to our efforts to build a more sustainable global economy and achieve truly sustainable development”.

The Secretary-General’s message was echoed by several Government representatives present at the luncheon, including Brazil, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom. Speaking on behalf of Turkey as the LDC-IV host government, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan explained that the private sector and the Global Compact can bring “more dynamism” to UN conferences.

Laurence J. Gumbiner, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the United States called for an “active dialogue with the private sector” and explained that the U.S. Government “enthusiastically and aggressively” embraces a strong private sector role at the Rio conference.

In preparation for Rio+20, the UN Global Compact is partnering with a number of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes in the preparation of a UN Private Sector Forum on access to sustainable energy, to be held in conjunction with the UN General Assembly on 20 September 2011.


Matthias Stausberg
UN Global Compact