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Heads of state, UN chiefs to talk COVID-19, inequality, climate

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Presidents of Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia will join dozens of Chief Executive Officers and UN chiefs at the United Nations Global Compact's Leaders Summit next week to address the private sector's response to three global crises -- COVID-19, inequality and climate.

Updated Jun 13, 2020 05:54 AM

Heads of state, UN chiefs to talk COVID-19, inequality, climate

With more than 12,000 attendees already registered for more than 100 global, regional and local sessions, the virtual Leaders Summit on June 15-16 will be the UN's largest, most inclusive and most sustainable convening of purpose-driven business leaders wanting to tackle societal challenges and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Under the theme Recover Better, Recover Stronger, Recover Together, the summit will start and end at the UN Headquarters in New York and "chase the sun" for 26 hours allowing speakers and attendees from 68 Global Compact Local Networks to participate in their own time zones and languages.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the UN Global Compact, the Leaders Summit provides a platform where leaders from business, civil society and the United Nations will be challenged to increase their ambition to achieve the SDGs.

Former US Vice President Al Gore, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Climate Finance Mark Carney, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Climate Champions of COP 25 and COP 26 Gonzalo MuAoz and Nigel Topping will be discussing the climate crisis.

Other high-level summit speakers include UN Global Compact Board Vice-Chairs Paul Polman and Bola Adesola, the heads of the Commonwealth, International Chamber of Commerce, NEPAD, International Trade Union Confederation, International Chamber of Shipping, and from academia Ilian Mihov the Dean of INSEAD and Professor Firmanzah, Rector of Paramadina University.

More than 20 UN agencies, funds and programmes will also showcase their work with the business sector and participants will hear from the President of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General, the heads of ILO, UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA, UNIDO, WFP, UNFCCC, UN Environment Programme, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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