Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus said there is a new glabal agreement to tackle climate change and the agreement needs to be implemented quickly.
Speaking at an international conference on climate change in Seoul last week, Prof Yunus said: “As the countries develop, they became so focussed on the development. They forget about what they are doing on the planet.”
The inaugural Sydney Peace Prize recipient called for international cooperation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and called for a binding international agreement to be implemented.
Bangladesh has released a commemorative stamp to honour Professor Muhammad Yunus’ Nobel Prize win.
The stamp featuring the inaugural 1998 Sydney Peace Prize winner was launched by Bangladesh’s Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed last Wednesday.
At a public lecture organised by the Singapore Institute of Policy Studies, the inauguaral Sydney Peace Prize recipient Professor Muhammad Yunus, said there is no reason why microcredit cannot happen in Singapore.
Even in an economically advanced city like Singapore, microcredit can succeed. He recounted examples of Amercian cities such as Chicago, New York and Texas that adopted the microcredit system.
IPS chairman Professor Tommy Koh announced at the end of the lecture that the institute would convene a brainstorming session with those keen on starting a Grameen-type initiative in city-state.
Several Sydney Peace Prize recipients have joined the Elders, a group of world renowned figures who will tackle global crises which governments are unable or unwilling to confront.
The group was launched on former South African president Nelson Mandela’s 89th birthday on Wednesday.
“Using their collective experience, their moral courage and their ability to rise above nation, race and creed, they can make our planet a more peaceful and equitable place to live,” Mandela said of the Elders.
Mandela said the humanitarian group could be a “robust force for good” in dealing with challenges such as climate change and global pandemics, to “that entirely human-created affliction, violent conflict”.
The group was the initiative of British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel.
Founding members of the Elders include former US president Jimmy Carter, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, human rights activist Graca Machel, former Chinese diplomat Li Zhaoxing, Indian entreprenuer Ela Bhatt and Norwegian doctor and politican Gro Harlem Brundtland.
1999 Sydney Peace Prize recipeint Archbishop Desmond Tutu and 2002 Sydney Peace Prize recipient, the former Irish president, Mary Robinson and 1998 Sydney Peace Prize recipient Professor Muhammad Yunus are also founding members of the Elders.
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has called on Japan to expand its ODA (overseas development assistance) to include social businesses, Bloomberg reported.
Yunus, the inaugual Sydney Peace Prize in 1998, said the traditional ODA which depends on government-owned infrastructure projects to stimulate economic growth is “a very roundabout way” of reducing poverty. To do that effectively, “It should be the government to the people of the country wherever you are sending money,” he said.
Yunus added that Japan and other countries who contribute to overseas aid should consider extending the aid to projects that local people can run as their own businesses and expand on their own.
He said: “Asia is in good shape right now…The thing is, can you get poverty down to zero level? Poverty doesn’t belong in a civilized society.”
Professor Muhammad Yunus has been chosen by American magazine, BusinessWeek, as one of the 30 greatest entrepreneurs of all time.
The criteria for making to the list include the vision to create new markets or tap into underserved markets, and in the process, changing the way people. It takes more than wealth to make it to the list, according to the article.
Yunus’ poverty-alleviating microcredit banking system was credited for changing the world.
Click here for the full list of BusinessWeek’s list of greatest entrepreneurs of all time.