FORMER United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan was in Oxford yesterday to address a forum of world leaders.

The 75-year-old had been invited to take part in the Skoll World Forum at the New Theatre in George Street to discuss social entrepreneurship.

He said: “Nearly one in seven of the world’s population will go hungry today. We have abjectly failed to respond to the scale and urgency of climate change.

“In the last few years, a savage economic crisis has sent unemployment soaring and widened inequalities in many parts of the world.

“Business as usual is not an option. We need nothing less than a radical shift to a new model of sustainable development.

“But I am more than ever confident about our capacity to change our world for the better. And this optimism is only increased when I look around this room.”

The Skoll World Forum started on Wednesday and concluded yesterday. Attendees included pop star Annie Lennox and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus, who developed the concept of microcredit where small loans are provided to those who lack collateral.