|Mr. Kofi Annan - Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1997-2006|
The Global Compact: Challenging Business to Become Leading Actors in Sustainable Development
The Secretary General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, Kofi Annan encouraged international collaboration in his address to the Gülen Institute Luncheon Forum. Annan cited the tumultuous changes of the past two decades, the end of the Cold War and the rise of the “Tiger” nations, as evidence of the world’s increasing interdependence. Global leaders must acknowledge the reality of these complex international relationships and work together across borders to ensure the physical safety and economic security of all. To this end, Annan discussed his latest worldwide initiative: The Global Compact. “Given the philosophy and vision of Fethullah Gülen,” Annan noted, “this is an appropriate forum for such conversations.”
Today, all governments must realize that there are problems that they cannot solve alone. In Annan’s experience, cooperation should exist not only between governments, but between the public and private sectors as well. Annan insisted that international relationships include much more than official diplomatic stations or UN summits. “People to people contact plays a very important role in diplomacy,” he said. “I have seen ordinary citizens―businessmen, professors, etc.―travel the world to establish international relationships.” Annan suggested that these informal, transnational networks will play a crucial role in mobilizing our response to the challenges of the modern world.