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Paul Polman speaks at launch of new UN report


A United Nations panel, of which Paul Polman is a member, published its detailed recommendations for alleviating poverty and facilitating sustainable development on Friday 31 May.

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Eradicating poverty

Last year, Paul was invited by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to become a member of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP). The group comprised 27 representatives from government, civil society and business tasked with advising the Secretary-General on the future development agenda when the current UN Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015.

Co-chaired by UK Prime Minister Cameron, Liberian President Johnson Sirleaf and President Yudhoyono of Indonesia, the HLP has worked over the last nine months to develop recommendations which form the report entitled ‘A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development’.

The report is being published in the run-up to the adoption of revised development goals in September 2015. It will be discussed at the UN General Assembly meeting in September 2013 to help guide the inter-governmental debate.

Launch speech

Speaking at the report’s launch in New York, Paul said: “It was an honour to have been invited to join the UN High Level Panel and it has been a privilege to work with my fellow panel members in developing key recommendations that taken together will make the goal of eradicating poverty in our generation a reality.”

Paul added: “Business is a critical enabler of inclusive economic growth and job creation which is key to unlocking human potential and poverty reduction. As one of only two business representatives I have tried to ensure that the voice of business was heard and understood as we framed the HLP recommendations. This is why we helped organise an extensive business outreach - engaging with businesses of all sizes, sectors and markets - with combined revenues of US$8 trillion and representing over 10% of global GDP.”

“This has shown a growing recognition of the business case for tackling major social and environmental challenges that confront us all - issues like access to clean affordable water, public health goals like hygiene and basic sanitation, food and nutrition security, social inclusion and gender equality and climate change challenges such as halting deforestation and decarbonising our economies. The need for concerted action to address these common challenges will only get stronger in the years to come. This is a bold and progressive step in the right direction.”

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