Professor Muhammad Yunus speaks at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit, a three-day event that took place from October 31 to November 2, at Nice in France. The G20 YES is held with the support of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In the three days before the G20 Summit, the event brought together delegations of young entrepreneurs from all the G20 member nations. Photo: YUNUS CENTRE
The current world crisis calls for an immediate broadening of the scope of the G20, said Professor Muhammad Yunus at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit in France.
"It must not be a political forum with solely an economic and financial agenda anymore. Creating a social agenda for the G20 is now of utmost importance," said the Nobel laureate at the summit that took place from Monday to Wednesday.
"I had the privilege to participate last year in the presentation to President Sarkozy of France of a report on the social aspects of globalisation, as preparatory work for the French Presidency of G20 in 2011," he said.
Yunus said given the current structural issues in a number of European and other countries, he is convinced that it is even more important that G20 puts a priority on social issues.
He said as Presidency of the G20 will now be held by Mexico, he would like to warmly and personally thank and applaud President Calderon of Mexico for his confirmation that the Mexican Presidency of G20 will definitely carry on moving the agenda forward on the critical task of reducing the inequalities in the globalisation process.
"As 'occupy Wall Street' movements grow in protestation against the dominance of finance over the world's economy and in light of the widely-spread youth unemployment in OECD countries, I propose that “social business” should be brought to the agenda of G20, as one of the concrete and effective solutions to be considered by the countries for immediate implementation so as to guide capitalistic investment towards social value and jobs creation, rather than sheer profit maximisation strategies.”
He believes the G20 group of countries should be enlarged to G25, as he is convinced that poor countries (one from each continent) should have a say in the global agenda which they are part of.
Their problems are inter-related with others, and their proposals of solutions should be considered by the most economically advanced countries in making global decisions.
According to him, a G25 would be a big step toward ensuring that global social issues are raised, and implementation of millennium development goals is fully shared on the global agenda. And finally, because fighting poverty together is the only way to bring long lasting peace in this world.
“I am (an) entrepreneur myself. I started by creating a bank, Grameen Bank, and then moved into a wide number of businesses, all with a social purpose: Grameen Nursing College, Grameen Eyecare Hospitals, Grameen Shakti, etc," he said.
He said microcredit has shown a way to empower women into entrepreneurship. Grameen Bank proved to the world that entrepreneurship is the solution to poverty.
"Building on 30 years of experience, and with now more than eight million borrowers of Grameen Bank, I can say that I have always considered young entrepreneurs to be the most effective solution for the future," Yunus added.
He said G20 YES is a fabulous initiative, gathering so much energy and momentum from all over the world. "Because of their creativity and leadership, provided that they commit to share the value they create, these 400 young entrepreneurs in this room can change the world," the professor added.
He is also a member of the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, advising the secretary general of the United Nations.
The Nobel laureate said this next generation of young people should be handed over the process of the MDGs as soon as possible.
"These goals need to become theirs, in order for them to create the world which they want to live in. Surely entrepreneurs have a key role to play in fulfilling MDGs, if they are committed to the social value created by their companies, and social business can be part of the solutions."