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General Assembly President urges more inclusive globalization

General Assembly President urges more inclusive globalization

The United Nations should lead efforts to foster a new global environment where partnerships can flourish, the President of the General Assembly said today, advocating a greater role for businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to achieve this goal.

The UN and multilateral financial institutions agree that globalization must be inclusive and that “for economic development to be sustainable the benefits need to be shared by all,” Srgjan Kerim said in an address at the Harvard Business School.

He noted that today’s globalized world requires some degree of global governance, but cautioned that this should not take the form of a world government. “Nothing is less desirable. The very notion of centralizing hierarchies is itself an anachronism in our fluid, highly dynamic and extensively networked world,” he said.

“But, effective global governance should put more responsibility on States and international institutions, but also non-State actors – the private sector and civil society.”

Mr. Kerim acknowledged the need for Member States to make the United Nations more effective to “strengthen its central position in the multilateral system,” including by reforming the Security Council.

“The UN needs be at the forefront of building a new culture of international relations based on greater trust and mutual cooperation and fairer economic consensus. To achieve this we will need to bring in private sector and NGOs into the policy-making process.”

He told the future business leaders present that they can play a role in this effort. “There are huge opportunities to use capital to realize profit and promote global public goods, job creation and sustainable development.”

President Kerim described a two-way process of mutual gain. “It is very important for future ‘global’ businessmen to understand the nature of international cooperation and the UN system – but also for the international system to bring the private sector and other non-State actors into a closer policy dialogue.”

The President emphasized that joint efforts can ensure that economic growth, social justice and environmental care advance hand-in-hand.

“Individuals will need to accept greater responsibility for their actions and their global implications,” he said. “Only then will we be able to pass our world on safely and securely to the generations that will come after us.”