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7 September - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged participants in a United Nations forum to do their part to make international investment work for the development of all humankind, especially in pursuit of the social and economic targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In a video message to the four-day World Investment Forum, held this week in Xiamen, China, he also highlighted the crucial role of investment in stimulating economic activity, advancing energy efficiency and green technology and responsibly spreading environmentally friendly practices at the corporate level.

Mr. Ban noted that “international investment is high on the agenda of global policymaking – as it should be.”

“After a significant downturn in 2009, worldwide flows are expected to recover slightly this year, according to UNCTAD's latest World Investment Report. An even stronger recovery is predicted for 2011 and 2012,” he said, referring to the latest investment report of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). “Looking ahead, four issues are especially urgent.”

“First, the recovery remains fragile. Private investment will be crucial for creating jobs and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Governments need to reassess how they manage, promote and regulate flows of investment. Governments and businesses should also explore how such flows can better stimulate economic activity, especially in light of the growing significance of emerging markets.

“Second, the consequences of climate change are increasingly clear. Governments and the private sector need to do much more to promote energy efficiency and green technology.

“Third, we must ensure a successful MDG Summit later this month in New York. Great progress has been made, but much remains to be done.

“Fourth, the critical role of private investment in spreading environmentally friendly practices and contributing to the MDGs puts a spotlight on business activities. We must work together to advance responsible investment and corporate sustainability,” he said.

The biennial World Investment Forum brings together policymakers, investment treaty negotiators, investment practitioners, investment promotion agencies, business, academia and civil society.