The Forum served as a platform to drive momentum towards achieving the SDGs at the mid-way point to 2030.
Participants sought to “leverage[e] the power of the private sector to contribute positively towards international priorities”.
Among key takeaways, the Forum highlighted the need for partnerships within the private sector and between the private sector, governments, and other stakeholders.
The 2023 SDG Global Business Forum brought together global leaders from government, business, civil society, and the UN to reflect on what needs to change for the world to get back on track to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve a just and fair transition to net zero. Participants acknowledged that the private sector has a critical role to play in achieving the SDGs.
Co-organized by the UN Global Compact, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Forum served as a platform to drive momentum towards achieving the SDGs at the mid-way point to 2030. Participants sought to “leverage[e] the power of the private sector to contribute positively towards international priorities.”
Highlighting the role of a strong and inclusive private sector in de-risking economies, attracting investment, and creating jobs for more prosperous and sustainable communities, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact, said “advancing sustainable development is also good for business.” And while companies are increasingly “taking the initiative to increase sustainability throughout their operations and in the communities they serve,” Ojiambo said more needs to be done to target business efforts for the greatest impact.
Addressing the Forum, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed the need for private sector leadership in achieving the SDGs. He urged business leaders to “put sustainability and low-carbon patterns of production front and centre across business models [and] supply and value chains” and to contribute to accelerating climate action by:
- Developing ambitious, credible, and verifiable net-zero plans in line with the recommendations of the UN High-Level Expert Group on the Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities;
- Shifting away from fossil fuels and boosting investments in renewable energy; and
- Working with the public sector to improve access to technologies and funding for the developing world.
The Forum also highlighted: the need for an enabling environment for businesses to invest in sustainable development; businesses as the main job creators and promoters of innovation; and the critical role of partnerships within the private sector, and between business, governments, and other stakeholders, in achieving the SDGs.
The 2023 SDG Global Business Forum convened on 18 July, alongside the ministerial segment of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and the high-level segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). [UN Global Compact News Release]