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Unilever debates global development at Davos


Paul Polman discussed the future of the global development agenda with senior business and political figures in a panel debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Paul Polaman at World Economic Forum

Paul joined UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, among others, to talk about ways and means to tackle poverty and improve livelihoods when the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015.

Paul, a member of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, outlined the challenges posed by shrinking resources as demand for food, water and energy continues to rise. “We have a very bizarre situation in the world right now where 890 million people go to bed hungry, not knowing if they will wake up the next day. And yet we waste about 30-40% of the food as if it doesn’t matter. Businesses understand that any system where too many people are excluded or left behind is not a system that is in equilibrium,” Paul said.

“We are at a very important point for humanity. We are in a period – if we are honest amongst ourselves – where the political process is difficult to move things forward. The time is ticking away. This is the best chance we have, I believe, to put a global moral framework in place.”

Convened by Ban Ki-moon in July 2012, the High Level Panel is a 27-member taskforce charged with advising him on the global development agenda beyond 2015.

The Global Development Outlook session was broadcast live on Thursday 24 January. View an on demand version of the session to hear more about both Unilever’s ideas and the thoughts and responses of those on the panel.

View the panel discussion on the WEF website

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