Kofi Annan Calls For Courage From World Leaders

A speech by Kofi Annan, criticising the world’s governments for failing to implement policies to protect the environment and basic human rights was the highlight of the first day of the international globalisation forum in Sweden.

The UN Secretary General, speaking via video link from New York, urged civil society groups to pressure governments to work harder to tackle problems such as climate change and poverty.

”Leaders continue to be too economically defensive and not courageous enough. We need pressure especially from civil society. We can’t leave it to governments alone to tackle these problems,” he said.

”The energy, environment, and economic equation is often downplayed and this creates frustration. The current use of energy is unsustainable,” Annan said.

Around 400 political, economic, social and business leaders from around the world have gathered at the Swedish resort village of Tällberg for a four-day forum on the negative impact of globalisation on the environment and human rights.

Among those attending include Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States Prince Turki al-Farsi, as well as Swedish Foreign Minister and president of the UN General Assembly, Jan Eliasson.

Participants will work towards a consensus, to be presented at the end of the forum, on how to tackle poverty, limited energy resources, climate change and population growth.

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