Speech by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, at the World Economic Forum on "The Global Compact: Creating Sustainable Markets"
Davos (Switzerland) - 29 January 2009
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be with you again in Davos.
This is my second visit as Secretary-General, and I must say that the mood is very different from the optimistic spirit of the past.
I've been calling this the year of multiple crises.
Economies are in trouble.
Trust in business and in markets has eroded.
People everywhere worry about their jobs and struggle to survive.
Yet amid these difficulties, we face another crisis.
It has been building for years and is global in scope.
Climate change threatens all our goals for development and social progress.
Indeed, it is a true existential threat to the planet.
On the other hand, it also presents us with a gilt-edged opportunity.
By tackling climate change head-on we can solve many of our current troubles, including the threat of global recession.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We stand at a crossroads. It is important that we realize we have a choice.
We can choose short-sighted unilateralism and business as usual. Or we can grasp global cooperation and partnership on a scale never before seen.