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Ban urges Korean firms to join sustainable development drive

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called for South Korean firms to step up efforts to achieve sustainable development.

“The Korean industry is dynamic. Everybody agrees, and it is growing. I am here to call on you to be even more creative in your contributions to global progress,” Ban said during the U.N. Global Compact Korea Leaders Summit 2015 held in Seoul.

Stressing that Korea is one of the highest emission-producing countries within the OECD, Ban urged business leaders to join the move for sustainable development goals. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greet each other behind President Park Geun-hye at the opening ceremony of the Asian Leadership Conference at Hotel Shilla in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greet each other behind President Park Geun-hye at the opening ceremony of the Asian Leadership Conference at Hotel Shilla in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)

“Korea and Korean business have strong roots in the developing world. And of course they earned their place as leaders among the developed economies,” he said.

“Korean firms are at the forefront of continuous innovation. In cell phone technology. In hybrid cars. In Internet connectivity. They embrace global integration and show results. Now it is time to match that global presence with global engagement for the public good.”

The UNGC is an U.N. initiative calling for global businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anticorruption. More than 8,000 companies in 145 countries are taking part to advance responsible business practices.

About 400 government and corporate officials and scholars were in attendance at the Korea summit, including UNGC executive director Georg Kell, Global Green Growth Institute president and former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs, who also serves as the secretary-general the Millennium Development Goals initiative.

By Suk Gee-Hyun (monicasuk@heraldcorp.com)
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