United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today rallied corporate leaders and entrepreneurs gathered for a summit in New York to focus on key areas required to reach a new era of sustainability, including responsible practices, transformative partnerships, breakthrough innovation and targeted investment.
In his remarks to the 2016 UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, Mr. Ban stressed that achieving the aims of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development would require finding new ways of living that would end the suffering, discrimination and lack of opportunity for billions of people around the world.
As such, he called on all stakeholders – from world leaders and chief executives, to educators and philanthropists, and across all sectors and industries – to work together in broader and deeper partnerships.
The UN Global Compact , the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, supports companies to do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption; and to take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation.
The Leaders Summit, which is running in New York through tomorrow, aims to jump-start business action everywhere on the Goals. To that end, the Global Compact unveiled a multi-year strategy to drive business awareness and activity that supports the achievement of the Goals by 2030.
Key elements of the new ‘Making Global Goals Local Business’ strategy include an annual Leaders Summit, the SDG Pioneers programme, Local Network SDG Action Plans, UN-business partnerships, and impact reporting.
Recalling the adoption last year of both the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Secretary-General in his remarks said sustainable development could be separated from fighting the impacts of climate change, and called for a holistic development model will take climate impact and fragile ecosystems into account, and would benefit both people and the planet.
Noting that trillions of dollars will be invested in infrastructure in the coming years, he said that the Paris Agreement and the SDGs give the private sector an unprecedented opportunity to create clean-energy, climate-resilient, sustainable economies.
“We are at a decisive moment in the shift to sustainable and inclusive markets,” continued the Secretary-General, noting that the first step in this regard would be to mobilize the global business community as never before. “All businesses, everywhere, can and should play a role in improving our world. That starts with integrity – doing business right,” he said.
“I have seen first-hand the power of the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles