Dubai

22 October 2018

Deputy Secretary-General's remarks at meeting of the United Arab Emirates National Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals [as prepared for delivery]

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to join you.  

I congratulate the United Arab Emirates on the launch of its Private Sector Advisory Council on the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Sustainable Development Goals remains our best roadmap to the future we want and aspire to where no one is left behind. 

The 2030 Agenda is the world’s ambitious and transformative plan of action to promote peace and prosperity for all on a healthy planet. 

Because of its breadth and scope, this Agenda cannot be achieved by governments alone. All sectors of society need to be galvanized if the goals are to be achieved by the target year of 2030. 

This Council will be a vital platform for fostering stronger links between the private sector and the government.

The private sector has a key role to play in spurring innovation, mobilizing resources and showing that business success and SDG success go hand in hand. 

Indeed, sustainable business actions are critical to the success of each goal.

I am encouraged to see that more and more businesses are aligning their strategies and operations with the SDGs, including by embedding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their corporate strategies. 

These principles -- on human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and anti-corruption -- point the way for companies looking to uphold their responsibilities to society while setting the stage for long-term growth and progress.

I encourage businesses in United Arab Emirates, small and large alike, to increase the pace and ambition of their support for the SDGs by integrating these principles into their core business strategies, and by sharing lessons learned. 

With 115 companies now participating since its launch in 2015, the Global Compact Local Network in the UAE is well positioned to guide and support companies in these efforts. 

I also encourage the government to keep improving the enabling conditions for business and investment, including for small and medium enterprises.

As the Secretary-General has emphasized, without the contributions of the private sector, the SDGs will remain just aspirations on paper – but with their full engagement, we can generate meaningful results across the world.

Let us all work together to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs and make the 2030 Agenda a reality for everyone.  

Thank you.