Kofi Annan praises Scotland's potential

Kofi Annan
Image caption Kofi Annan said Scotland had "great potential" for the future

Scotland can play a leading role in ending poverty and tackling climate change, according to former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

He said Scotland was "a country with a great history in science, technology, research, economics and in business".

Mr Annan is due to address Scotland's International Awards ceremony in Edinburgh in November.

"In this interconnected world, nations must work together to tackle common challenges", he said.

"Scotland is a country with great potential for the future. You can play a leading role in ending poverty and hunger, tackling climate change, and ensuring sustainable development and peace."

The Nobel Peace Prize winner's visit was brokered by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), a leading economic development organisation.

SCDI's chief executive, Dr Lesley Sawers, said: "In creating foundations for future economic growth of our nation, we must set clear goals for our key sectors and for our cities and regions, ensuring all our communities are connected and can contribute to the nation's economic success.

"Scotland's greatest asset is our people, and a Scottish workforce that is highly-skilled, highly-motivated and productive will be fundamental to our future competitiveness.

"We must commit to ensuring our young people work, train and learn.

"That is especially relevant to Kofi Annan's visit. He is particularly known and respected for his unfailing commitment to young people and their future."

Key industries

Mr Annan's appearance at the awards follows last year's sell-out event in Glasgow, where the speaker was former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Building on our heritage of invention and innovation, we are developing key industries for the future."

He said this included producing cutting-edge life sciences therapies and devices to help eradicate disease and setting world-leading renewable energy and carbon-reduction targets to combat climate change.

He added that this problem most adversely affected the world's poorest.

"Mr Annan has provided a leadership role on these, among many other pressing global issues, and I am delighted that he will be coming to Scotland to share his insights," Mr Salmond said.

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