The United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-moon underlined Tuesday that the overarching imperative for the world's future is sustainable development.
"We meet on the eve of an important year. 2015 is the moment to agree on a new development framework," Ban said at the opening session of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Forum on Partnerships held here.
The UN official called for collective work to scale up investment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development to materialize the UN's vision of a "just world" "We have a vision of a just world where resources are optimized for the good of people. A world where we do not exploit our environment for immediate gain - we protect it for generations to come," he said.
"A world of health and literacy so people can reach their potential. A life of dignity for all. Inclusive and sustainable industrial development can drive success." He pointed out that the United Nations is dealing with many emergencies - conflicts, human rights abuses and now the Ebola crisis.
"These are daily reminders that our world is interconnected - and that we have to join forces for our shared future. That is why the United Nations is not just coping with daily crises - we are also addressing their underlying causes, including poverty and environmental degradation." The UN chief said sustainable development can be achieved through four main areas for common action: an economic transition; jobs for young people; climate change; and responsible business practices.
"To trigger a large-scale transformation, we need to encourage economies to expand from farms to factories. The agricultural sector can generate jobs in light manufacturing industries like food processing," he said. "Those industries can be labour intensive, leading to more jobs. More jobs and higher employment mean greater social inclusion. Greater social inclusion leads to better security and lasting peace.
He went on to say that the world now has the largest-ever number of young people in history. They are full of energy and ideas - but nearly 75 million young people face unemployment.
"Without hope for decent work, they are vulnerable to extremist ideologies, drugs and crime. But with the right opportunities, these young people can make great contributions for sustainable development. They can pioneer new industries that create even more jobs in the future." He, however, argued that the climate challenge presents another opening for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
"Smart governments and investors are exploring innovative green technologies that can protect the environment and achieve economic growth, "For industrial development to be sustainable it must abandon old models that pollute. Instead, we need sustainable approaches that help communities preserve their resources." Ban urged businesses to be shoulder its responsibility towards the world's development goals.
"Companies have the power to foster social inclusion through their workforce policies. They can gain an enormous boost by joining the United Nations Global Compact initiative. That signals their commitment to universal principles on human rights, labour, the environment and fighting corruption," he concluded.