Contributed by: Show Editorial Team
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General for UNCTAD interview with David Nelson at Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (NYSE)
- Defeat of extreme poverty is a moral imperative
- Sustainability includes social inclusion and economic & environmental visibility
- Our sustainability goals keep us evolving
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General for UNCTAD and David Nelson
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Hello everyone. I’m David Nelson for the Traders Network Show broadcasting worldwide from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for iHeart Radio and Equities.com. We’re here for an event being hosted by the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. My next guest needs no introduction. Dr. Kituyi is the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Doctor welcome. Thank you so much for being with us. Doctor I saw you speak earlier, and it was really impressive. How do you view Sustainable Development Goals. It’s really an outlet to lift people out of poverty.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi – Secretary General, UNCTAD: 00:38
First the number of streams that fit into the Sustainable Development Goals for me.
The first one is the rebirth of multilateralism that after many years of talking at each other the world is ready to say collectively we can set consider those ambitions that we all tried to move towards. And that’s one of the main statements of the Sustainable Development Goals. The second thing is something that I believe very strongly that we cannot celebrate partial success. Collective victory in the defeat of extreme poverty is a moral imperative. So the political and economic leaders are united in pursuing this cause it’s very uplifting for some of us. The third thing is a challenge. This a new model of development thinking where we see a balance between social entrepreneurs enterprise self-regulation academia international organizations nonprofits and governments. That balance in relationship is important in this millennium. In the past it has been competitive. This is synergize in our capital capabilities. These are all streams into what I think is a very enriching new challenge.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 01:53
You recently put out an in-depth report it was called from decisions to our actions. Sir I went through the highlights of this and one line really struck me and I wanted to share with our viewing audience it was “Islands of prosperity surrounded by poverty are incompatible with the world we strive for.” Can you expand on all right.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi – Secretary General, UNCTAD: 02:14
Actually it’s partly just what I’ve been talking about. Now that sustainability has a number of different considerations. We have talked about social inclusion we’ve talked particularly about economic viability and environmental viability. But to me too many of us. If less party to a sustainable future is balance between. Today’s generations needs and the needs of posterity. We must also look at the needs of those among us who are left behind by competition. So I think it’s a collective responsibility that where wealth emerges we offer the minimum requirements for the most vulnerable among us to have a decent livelihood. To me that is the sea of poverty that has traditionally surrounded islands of prosperity.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 03:06
Well said Sir. You set up in the conference so just a few minutes ago you were talking about sustainable engagement. And one of the one thing really struck me you talked about constant renewal to keep this fresh and alive talk a little more about that.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi – Secretary General, UNCTAD: 03:23
To me, social engagement is like the biological mechanism’s organisms. I’m pleased this renewal and is this constant improvement. You become static you become irrelevant you become overtaken by changes in society. So even as we set us have sustainability goals these goals must have a life that keep evolving the standards to set asides for acceptable minimum conduct must keep improving society. GROSS So similarly the pledges that enterprises make the pledges that the corporate sector makes the pledges that governments make must be constantly improved as an objective and subjective conditions change. So I think as a goal in Sustainable Stock Exchanges one of our main challenges is how do we sustain this industry driven commitments to better practice at the same time pushing the boundaries of acceptable minimum standards.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 04:23
Typically, this is done mostly by governments here. You’ve chosen to go to the financial sector and stock exchanges. What prompted that decision?
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi – Secretary General, UNCTAD: 04:32
The two three things. One. Stock Exchanges are autonomous. In most developed society stock exchanges cannot read. They read the riot act by governments. And so what does that mean. It means. The best influencer of conduct by stock exchanges is stock exchanges themselves. And the best way you can impact the equities market their data the regulators and the investors is to get to buy into the message. Set standards set the last battle and peer pressure will bring out best practice even pull along the reluctant words. So that is one major thing. Secondly, if the message of sustainability is embraced by stock exchanges, they are a mainstream market leader. What it means that enterprise will believe in the value of sustainability. Enterprise investors companies will trust the word of stock exchanges more than they would trust the word of governments, so they become couriers of a message that is going beyond their own interests as institutions.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 05:36
I want to ask you the same question sir that I’ve asked everyone here how the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative and the activity still putting forth over the next couple of years. How we went to greet them with the UNCTAD deal. And what will you be doing over the next year or two.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi – Secretary General, UNCTAD: 05:53
Okay the first thing is we are at the point where we are recruiting and get as many on board as possible. And secondly like you could see from the discussions in the room earlier on today getting aspirations of best practice that someone to set standards already now declare that everybody must adhere to a certain level. To my mind. That process has to be evolving over time. That is you give it the oxygen to grow and to have standards evolving over time. At the same time, a week at the United Nations cannot run the risk of falling back when we’re asking that us to evolve. So that is feeding off each other. As enterprise grows higher ambition and sophistication of its commitment of its practices we in the United Nations family must also find the best levers tools of communication science’s possibilities and levels of enhanced engagement with non-state actors. Solidarity with the state actors to step up our game. So I see a mutually reinforced exercise between U.N. agencies and private sector led enterprises whether it’s members of the Global Compact for example were very good with engaging companies on this initiative or the PRI was very very nice and engaging with investors. As this grows we in the U.N. have also to uphold them and I think this is the way we go to grow.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 07:24
Well said Sir. Any parting words to the U.N. and the SSA before you leave today.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi – Secretary General, UNCTAD: 07:29
I think my main message is we are living through a one in a lifetime experience. We have opportunities to express our best our warmest aspirations for humanity as others as states gather in New York and commit themselves. To raise the ambition of global social responsibility. Eradication of extreme poverty. Not of a drain on the ecological count of the future. Every one of us must find in the heart their way to commit to renewed engagement for collective solutions to society’s problems particularly not leaving the most vulnerable among us behind.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 08:13
Doctor thank you so much for your valuable time. I really appreciate it. That was terrific. That was Dr. Kituyi the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. By the way just one quick thank you goes out to 1-800-PublicRelations for the PR media support. Thanks for joining. I’m David Nelson at the New York Stock Exchange.