The UN Private Sector Forum 2016 highlighted the role of business in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and preventing global instability.
The private sector announced more than 30 commitments in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the event, including four platforms to shape the next generation of partnerships for business on achieving the SDGs, announced by the UN Global Compact (UNGC).
19 September 2016: The UN Private Sector Forum 2016 highlighted the role of business in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and preventing global instability. The private sector announced more than 30 commitments in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the event. Among these, the UN Global Compact announced four platforms to shape the next generation of partnerships for business on achieving the SDGs.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted the Forum, in collaboration with the co-chairs of the UN High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly to address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, on the theme ‘Business and the 2030 Agenda: Securing the Way Forward.’ The 2016 Forum brought together over 350 CEOs, Heads of State and Government, and UN and civil society leaders, on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly (UNGA).
A roundtable discussion, ‘Coming Together for People, Planet, Peace and Prosperity,’ focused on: empowering people by eliminating poverty and hunger and enabling all people to live in dignity; protecting the planet by fighting climate change; reducing and preventing global shocks and creating resilient communities; building peace by advancing responsible business leadership to prevent and reduce conflict and mobilizing markets to reinforce safety and security; and investing in prosperity by transforming markets, financing sustainability and leveraging business innovation to accelerate sustainability.
Addressing the Forum, Ban said, “Every business has a responsibility to improve our world,” and observed that “nearly every UN entity is partnering with companies” to advance disaster relief, sanitation, women’s empowerment and education, and other objectives. On the role of business in responding to large movements of refugees and migrants, Ban called on the private sector to: combat xenophobia and discrimination in workplaces and communities; enable equal employment opportunities for refugees and migrants; and invest in education initiatives for displaced youth.
The Forum heard also opening remarks from the Presidents of the 70th and 71st sessions of the UNGA, Mogens Lykketoft and Peter Thomson, respectively. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, GSMA Director General Mats Granryd, and UPS CEO David Abney delivered keynote addresses.
Business leaders announced new partnerships and commitments to advance the SDGs, prevent global instability and address global migration and refugee challenges during a session on ‘Securing the Way Forward.’ The UN Global Compact launched four initiatives: the ‘Global Solutions Platform,’ which will map and monitor sustainable solutions across sectors and the world; ‘Catalyzing Financial Innovation,’ which will identify innovative financial products with the potential to redirect finance towards infrastructure and sustainable solutions; ‘SDG Leadership through Reporting,’ which will promote corporate reporting on the Compact’s Ten Principles and the SDGs; and ‘Project Breakthrough,’ which aims to help companies understand the potential of disruptive technology clusters to enable more sustainable, circular business models.
The Co-Lead of Project Breakthrough, John Elkington, called it a “moonshot” project aimed at encouraging “breakthrough innovation, not just incremental change” to help deliver the SDGs by 2030. Lise Kingo, UN Global Compact Executive Director, said the four launches aim to accelerate change in order to meet the 2030 deadline.” She stressed that UNGC has “made it our mission to translate the SDGs into responsible and innovative business practices around the world,” and called on all stakeholders to “jointly explore opportunities to innovate around the SDGs.” [UN Secretary-General Statement] [UNGC Press Release] [Forum Commitments] [Event Website] [UN Press Release]