At the third edition of the LAC Business Forum for the SDGs, participants underscored the importance of VNRs as a guide for corporate action.
A Global Compact representative noted efforts to engage corporate stakeholders in addressing the shortfall in SDG financing.
22 April 2019: Companies investing in the SDGs can be more profitable and sustainable in both the medium and long terms, and the private sector is needed for mobilizing resources and mechanisms to implement the 2030 Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), according to participants at the Business Forum for the SDGs in LAC 2019.
The Forum was organized by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the UN Global Compact, on 22 April 2019, in Santiago, Chile. It took place on the sidelines of the third meeting of the Forum of the Countries of LAC on Sustainable Development, which is meeting through 26 April 2019.
ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena cited difficulties in financing the 2030 Agenda in LAC given that it is a middle-income region. She urged more private sector actors to play an active role in achieving the SDGs, and she called for “changing the conversation” between governments, the private sector and civil society.
Daniel Titelman, ECLAC, said transformative public-private compacts and implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the region depend on the joint capacity of ECLAC and the Global Compact to mobilize the necessary financial resources.
Margarita Ducci, Global Compact Network Chile, noted 73 cases of alliances between companies, civil society, NGOs and other actors, which she said will be included in Chile’s voluntary national review (VNR) to be presented during the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). She highlighted the need for a shared methodology for making better decisions regarding social investment.
Angus Rennie, UN Global Compact, described his work with corporate stakeholders to address the shortfall in SDG financing. He said the Compact is focused on: calling on companies to consider issuing SDG Bonds when raising debt; applying an SDG lens to corporate pension fund investments; and taking an SDG approach with foreign direct investments (FDI).
During the meeting, participants underscored: the importance of VNRs as a guide for corporate action; the need for the VNRs to include the private sector’s contributions; and that the SDGs must be part of companies’ strategies to have a real impact on people’s lives.