Press Releases

    SG/SM/7952
    13 September 2001

     

     

    SECRETARY-GENERAL PAYS TRIBUTE TO FOUNDER/PRESIDENT OF WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

     

    NEW YORK, 12 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of remarks by Secretary-General Kofi Annan made at a Candlelight Award presentation to Klaus Schwab, founder and president of the World Economic Forum, held in New York on 10 September:

    It is a great pleasure to be with you tonight, and to say a few words in honour of Klaus Schwab.

    This Candlelight Award is especially fitting for a man who was ahead of us all in seeing the power and the logic of globalization. Klaus not only saw this future, he acted on it, and he shaped it. His vision is what brings us together this evening, just as it has brought us together so often in the past.

    On one such occasion, at the World Economic Forum the year before last, I proposed my Global Compact to the leaders of international business. This call to action has since been taken up by hundreds of corporate leaders, who have pledged to uphold internationally agreed principles of human rights, labour standards and environmental protection in their corporate practice.

    I cannot imagine a place more appropriate than Davos for launching a global initiative. In that beautiful Swiss resort, Klaus has created a forum unlike any other in the world: an environment where full-dress debates and more intimate discussions can take place with the same ease. He brings out the intellectual best in politicians, academics, business-people -- even international civil servants. And he ensures that they reach a wide and influential audience.

    The Carriage House Center on Globalization and Sustainability, which we are here to inaugurate this evening, is a welcome next step in the process of encouraging dialogue between the public and private sectors. The Center will bring together representatives of industry, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and other members of civil society to address all the problems we face in safeguarding the gains of development for future generations. Sustainability is a very important element in the often fractious debate on globalization. We are anxious to hear the ideas which the Center will generate. I myself am delighted to know that from now on we will have our own little piece of Davos right here on Manhattan’s East Side.

    It is rare that we find a man who combines entrepreneurship and social conscience as productively as Klaus Schwab has done. We have all of us gained from his pioneering spirit. We are all of us fortunate that he is a man of such generous spirit.

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