7 December 2012
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
On behalf of the 97 co-sponsors, I sincerely thank all the delegations who
supported this resolution today. I also express my deep appreciation to the
delegations that participated constructively in our extensive and transparent
The co-sponsors and supporters of this resolution are diverse.
They include nations from all corners of the globe, both developing and
developed. Their support reflects a growing global awareness that
entrepreneurship is a critical driver of development in the new millennium.
Albert Einstein once wrote that "logic may get you from A to Z, but
imagination will get you everywhere."
Entrepreneurs are dreamers - risk-takers who dare to change the world. They
are people like the young woman in Peru who built a recycling plant to turn the
piles of waste in Lima's poorest neighborhoods into a source of income. They are
the two brothers from India who transformed a small online bookstore into a
billion dollar enterprise. They are the recent college graduate in Ethiopia who
turned a small sandal workshop on her grandmother's property into a multimillion
dollar footwear company.
These are the people who offer developing communities the best hope for
breaking the cycle of poverty. No one is in a better position to solve a
country's problems than its entrepreneurs.
Today, this Committee is sending a clear and simple message: entrepreneurship
is a primary pathway to sustainable economic growth for all.
Entrepreneurship has a ripple effect. By unlocking minds, we can inspire
change. Business leaders build teams and instill confidence in their peers. They
empower others to pursue their dreams.
Israel, and all the other co-sponsors, hoped for consensus on this
resolution. Every country - every country - benefits from empowering its
entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, the Arab Group announced that it would vote
against this resolution even before the negotiations ended. What a shame.
Few places could benefit from entrepreneurship more than the Arab world.
People across the Arab world have risen up precisely because they are looking
for change. They are demanding better lives, better economies, and better
governance. They are demanding an end to the rampant corruption, discrimination
against women, and economic stagnation in their region. But the Arab delegations
here today - like their governments - have not responded to these calls.
Instead, by voting against this resolution, they have turned their backs on
their own people - and tried to turn back the clock on the important work of
This resolution has the promise to create a better world. It represents hope
and progress for people in all corners of the planet - from the highest
mountains of Nepal to the lowest valleys of Bolivia, from the sands of the
Sahara to the Great Barrier Reef.
Every Arab delegate who voted "no" is sending the message that he cares far
more about petty politics than human prosperity. This resolution can bring
innovation to those who need it most. It can move humanity forward. And we
should not allow certain delegations in this hall to move it backwards.
Israel's experience shows that humans are a country's greatest natural
resource. In just six decades, Israel has transitioned from a developing nation
to a start-up nation. We have moved from cultivating apples to designing Apple
Computers, from harvesting oranges to building Orange mobile phones. We have
more start-ups per capita than any nation on the planet. Tel Aviv was even
recently named the second most entrepreneurship-friendly city in the world.
These achievements are no accident. They are the result of close
collaboration between business and government - and a culture that rewards
risk-taking, embraces entrepreneurship, and encourages imagination.
Israel's story shows that if you want stability, empower your people. If you
want prosperity, invest in your citizens. And if you want sustainability, engage
every member of society - especially women and youth.
This, above all, is the core of our resolution.
I would like to once again thank those countries that have worked with us
tirelessly to adopt this resolution. The enthusiasm of so many in this room
proves that we all share the same vision, both developing and developed nations,
both North and South.
Today's success is far from the end of our collaboration. We must now take
the words from the printed page and breathe life into them. It is time that the
UN puts business creation and growth at the forefront of its development
policies. Regardless of size, every business venture - from a small start-up in
the Amazon to the next Amazon.com - must be given the chance to thrive.
The spark of ingenuity exists in every society. All people have the
opportunity to turn their dreams into reality; to turn their hopes into change.
May this be the moment that the international community fully embraces
entrepreneurship, so that people around the world can have a path to create a
future they all can be proud of.