U.N. welcomes NYSE participation in responsible investment initiative

Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations, welcomed the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday to the U.N.’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, which seeks to support responsible and sustainable investment.

“There are few better places than this trading floor for appreciating the realities global economic activity and investment trends,” Ban said just before ringing the closing bell on Wall Street. “Shocks here ripple across the world, with grave consequences for the most poor and vulnerable.”

The initiative, created in 2009, seeks to explore collaborative efforts between exchanges, regulators and firms to enhance corporate transparency and performance and encourage responsible approaches to investment. Eight exchanges have joined the initiative, along with 13,000 companies in developed and emerging markets.

Ban said that the addition of the NYSE to the initiative signals “the importance and relevance of sustainability to the private sector around the world.” He added, however, that the world will need more participation to “achieve a more equitable, prosperous and sustainable future.”

“Investment must be sustainable – delivering value not just financially, but also in social, environmental and developmental terms,” Ban said.

Additionally, Ban said investors increasingly realize that development challenges threaten stability and businesses.

“That is why the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment now has more than 1,200 signatories who collectively manage over $34 trillion dollars in assets,” Ban said. “Each has committed to incorporate sustainability into their investment decision making, ownership practices and engagement with companies.”

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