Secretary-General in Davos/World Economic Forum; Climate Change and Private Sector; Yemen; and more

Secretary-General in Davos: In Davos today, the Secretary-General met with the President of Switzerland and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, as well as  the Prime Ministers of Kenya, Denmark, and Brazil.  Asked about the Secretary-General’s message in Davos, the Spokesperson said that he would stress the importance of social justice and equality, in these times of economic crisis. He added that the Secretary-General would voice the need to look at the difficulties faced by many people and particularly young people.

World Economic Forum:
  The Secretary-General called today on business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to increase their investment in women’s education and health to ensure their well-being and encourage their participation in the world economy. “Investing in the health of women and girls is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do for national economies and global stability,” Mr. Ban said at an event organized by the Every Woman Every Child initiative.

The Secretary-General also stressed the need to provide education for girls so they can lead productive lives, contribute to the economy and start families when they decide to do so. He emphasized the role that the business community can play to help them succeed:

“The private sector is uniquely positioned to deliver a better life for women and children around the world” he said. “Telecommunication companies are harnessing their networks to bring mobile health solutions to women living in the countryside. Corporations are using their technological strengths to develop affordable healthcare equipment for remote areas. Pharmaceutical companies are making essential drugs available to those most in need.”

Climate Change and Private Sector:
A new online database launched today by the United Nations will showcase successful strategies that businesses and communities are using to adapt to climate change while simultaneously increasing their profits and using their resources more efficiently. The database, which can be accessed through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website, features more than 100 examples from companies such as Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Microsoft and Starbucks, which share the details of their business-friendly adaptation practices.

“By showcasing private sector adaptation success stories, we intend to help both communities and businesses become more climate-resilient and to put the benefits and business sense of adaptation firmly on the agenda of the private sector,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos.

According to the Security Council, Yemen’s forthcoming presidential election will be an opportunity for the country to embark on a transitional process that strengthens national dialogue and leads to a political system that will be more inclusive and open to greater participation by all citizens. In a press statement issued last night after a briefing by Jamal Benomar, the SG’s Special Adviser for Yemen, the Council welcomed the progress towards the implementation of the political transition, based on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative.

A top UN official called today on the Government of Myanmar to boost partnerships between the private and public sectors to support the country’s recent reforms as well as to help accelerate development and job creation in the country. “Myanmar is experiencing a new beginning that is generating an unprecedented sense of hope for a future where opportunities are created for all, including the poorest and most marginalized segments of the population,” said the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Noeleen Heyzer, during a meeting with Myanmar’s President, Thein Sein.

Ms. Heyzer noted that investment can play a significant role in supporting the President’s reform agenda and Myanmar’s social and economic development goals, and added that for partnerships to be successful open dialogue must occur between all stakeholders.

The WFP today is honoring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and activist Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for his efforts in the battle against hunger and his advocacy on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable people. WFP will present its Global Champion Against Hunger award to Archbishop Emeritus Tutu of South Africa during a dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later today.