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Opening of the World Investment Forum 2014 “Investing in Sustainable Development”

13 October 2014
Opening of the World Investment Forum 2014 “Investing in Sustainable Development”

Opening Remarks for Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva

Opening of the World Investment Forum 2014
“Investing in Sustainable Development”

Palais des Nations, Assembly Hall
Monday, 13 October 2014 at 18:00

President Burkhalter
Prime Minister Jomaa
Secretary-General Kituyi
President Radi
Mr. Drogba
Distinguished Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a pleasure to welcome you all to the Palais des Nations – the home of the United Nations in Geneva – and to the World Investment Forum 2014.

First of all, allow me to thank President Burkhalter and our Host Country, Switzerland, for the generous support for the Forum. This support has not only made the Forum possible, but is indispensable for our work on a daily basis. Thank you again for your commitment to the United Nations.

The United Nations family in Geneva is working to promote peace, rights and well-being for all. The collective work of the many actors based here has a positive impact on the lives of people across the world – every single day. The activities of UNCTAD and many other partners here to promote sustainable investment form an important part of those efforts. For the past 50 years, UNCTAD has provided instrumental assistance to integrate developing countries into the global economy. And we are pleased to welcome participants from all regions, leaders from public policy, private business and civil society, to work with us in support of this objective.

These are not merely technical, expert-level debates. Promotion of investment and its link to sustainable development goes to the heart of our collective mission of building a better world for all.
Going forward, our next major challenge will be establishing a universal and transformative post-2015 development agenda. Means of implementation is now among the key areas of focus in the discussions. And there can be no doubt that responsible, transparent investment will be an essential element in this regard, benefitting people, businesses and Governments. We will simply not be able to rely on ODA and business-as-usual when it comes to development capital. We will have to find ways to support the right types of investment that create jobs and respect human rights. Just as we need to support Governments in creating enabling environments to attract this type of investment, and to create confidence in the market and generate long-term business perspectives.

This requires true partnership. The public and private sectors share the responsibility to realize our goal of sustainable development, and I welcome the focus at the Forum on how to take this partnership to a new level, working across sectors and bringing experience together across institutions. We need to break down silos both among the stakeholders and across the challenges that we face.

You can rely on the full support and active engagement of the entire United Nations family in Geneva in this work.

With this in mind, I wish you all a very successful World Investment Forum 2014.

Thank you very much.