UN Private Sector Forum Discusses Business Action in Achieving the MDGs and Food Sustainability
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24 September 2008: The first UN Private Sector Forum on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Food Sustainability convened on the side of the opening of the UN General Assembly, to further business commitment towards the MDGs and serve as platform to articulate business perspectives on actions needed for their achievement.

Organized by the UN […]

Former United States President Bill Clinton and World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
24 September 2008: The first UN Private Sector Forum on the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Food Sustainability convened on the
side of the opening of the UN General Assembly, to further business commitment
towards the MDGs and serve as platform to articulate business perspectives on
actions needed for their achievement.

Organized by the UN Global Compact
Office, the UN Development Programme, the UN Department of Economic and Social
Affairs, the UN Office for Partnerships and the Office of the Coordinator for
Humanitarian Affairs, the Forum brought together chief executives, civil
society leaders, as well as heads of State, foundations and of UN agencies,
funds and programmes. In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
called for increased investment in agriculture and expressed confidence that
private sector expertise will help tackle key issues such as water access and
management, agricultural inputs, technological innovations, and energy and
biofuels.
He then presented a document entitled “Food Sustainability: A Guide
to Private Sector Action,” containing recommendations and examples of best
practices intended to stimulate broader private sector engagement on critical
issues related to food sustainability. On energy and biofuels, the report
suggests, among other actions, that business: actively engage in the
development of an international standard for sustainable biofuel production and
commit to test, help refine and apply this standard; explore flexible markets,
such as the Brazilian option to switch from sugar to ethanol production
depending on prices and demand; enter into partnerships with UN agencies and
relevant organizations that encourage practices that allow sustainable access
to food and energy; and consider the potential benefits and infrastructure
needs of rural biofuel markets in developing countries.
The Guide also
encourages business to support the development of technologies for: increased
productivity, including ecological intensification; intercropping,
multi-purpose crops and cascading use of biomass; and use of degraded land not
suitable for food production and without conservation value. The Forum convened
seven thematic roundtables on key long-term challenges associated with the food
crisis and launched the Business Call to Action, a platform to mobilize private
sector efforts to support economic growth in developing countries and
contribute to the MDGs. A number of new commitments in support of specific MDGs
were also announced by individual participants or initiatives. [Forum
Website
] [The
Report
]

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