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On remembering a visionary, a man of the people and a voice for the voiceless

August 18, 2018
“I propose that you, the business leaders… and we, the United nations, initiate a global compact of shared values and principles, which will give a human face to the global market.” (Kofi Annan, 1938–2018)

In light of the sad news that the former secretary general of the UN, Kofi Annan, has passed away, IMPA joins the world in mourning the loss of a man who was able to turn compassion into action.

Kofi Annan was a leader of leaders, unafraid to defy, create and bridge gaps. He was of the opinion that “forward-looking companies need not wait for government regulations to do what’s right” and that only by bringing civil society organisations and the private sector to the table, can we build together a broader foundation for global development. Governments could not do everything by themselves, and nor should they be expected to, he believed.

In June 2000, he proved wrong to those who thought that it’s never been done, that he shouldn’t try and that he is dreaming, by launching the UN Global Compact, now the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. His pioneering work inspired the world’s top business leaders to publicly commit to the initiative’s ten principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

The work of this visionary frontrunner inspired organisations and associations alike. We too share the same credo and it is why, on a much smaller scale, we established IMPA ACT. And by taking the same principle-based approach, we too hope to inspire, just as we have been inspired by this leader of change, the global maritime industry to drive new strategies and advance sustainable goals.

On remembering a visionary, a man of the people and a voice for the voiceless
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