SDG Business Forum

Following the success of last year’s inaugural forum, the second annual SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations on 18 July 2017 during the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda recognizes the critical role of business in delivering on the promise of sustainable and inclusive development. The business case for sustainable development is based on the understanding that business and social values are inextricably linked and business efforts to improve lives and strengthen local communities can also have long term bottom line benefits. The private sector has been invited to share its support for the Agenda during the HLPF at the SDG Business Forum.

Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and the UN Global Compact, and organized in collaboration with the Global Business Alliance (GBA) for 2030, the SDG Business Forum will convene leaders from business and government, together with the heads of UN agencies, key international organizations, and civil society groups to delve into the role business will play in delivering the 2030 Agenda. Featuring a showcase review of business engagement on the 7 goals in focus at this year’s HLPF, as well as individual sessions examining investment, partnerships, and monitoring, this event will foster robust dialogue between governments and the private sector on critical issues and the way forward.

The Forum will report on significant achievements and commitments undertaken by business and gauge private sector efforts to catalyze sustainable growth and development during this critical implementation phase. Ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, the global business community is committed to contribute to the success of the 2030 Agenda and the realization of a long-lasting, prosperous future for all.

SDG Business Forum Will Report on Private Sector Achievements

Following the success of last year’s inaugural forum, the second annual SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations on July 18, 2017 during the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and the UN Global Compact, and organized in collaboration with the Global Business Alliance (GBA) for 2030 – including USCIB, the SDG Business Forum will convene leaders from business and government, together with the heads of UN agencies, key international organizations, and civil society groups to delve into the role business will play in delivering the 2030 Agenda.

Featuring a showcase review of business engagement on the 7 goals in focus at this year’s HLPF, as well as individual sessions examining investment, partnerships, and monitoring, this event will foster robust dialogue between governments and the private sector on critical issues and the way forward. The Forum will report on significant achievements and commitments undertaken by business and gauge private sector efforts to catalyze sustainable growth and development during this critical implementation phase. Ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, the global business community is committed to contribute to the success of the 2030 Agenda and the realization of a long-lasting, prosperous future for all.

For more information and registration please visit: http://www.sdgbusinessforum.com/

OECD Week Addresses Global Challenges with Business Input

 

Peter M. Robinson at OECD Week in Paris

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson was in Paris last week for OECD Week, which tackled issues such as international tax rules, globalization challenges and anti-trade rhetoric. Addressing Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on June 7, Business at OECD (BIAC) Chair Phil O’Reilly called on governments to address the challenges of strengthening growth and boosting economic participation, emphasizing that ultimately societies can only support economic openness, when it is accompanied by appropriate domestic policies to prepare people for change, with better skills and more opportunities for economic participation.” O’Reilly drew upon principles highlighted in the recently released Business at OECD 2017 Statement to Ministers, which contains the core business recommendations to strengthen open economies and inclusive societies. This paper is a call to action for OECD governments to implement a comprehensive competitiveness agenda, and also better engage with the public, especially regarding the opportunities that come with trade and investment.

In a similar statement, Business at OECD Secretary General Bernhard Welschke encouraged governments to better address an increasing anti-trade rhetoric in OECD countries, highlighting that “both business and trade unions have a responsibility to communicate in a fair, balanced, and responsible manner.” Also speaking at the session on International Trade and Investment for the Benefit for All, Business at OECD (BIAC) Vice Chair and USCIB Board member Charles R. Johnston (Citi) encouraged governments to counteract on protectionist action in the form of growing non-tariff barriers, and pointed to areas where new OECD work would help better inform this debate. Business also emphasized that governments should fully use the OECD Investment Restrictiveness Index and implement the Policy Framework for Investment.

On international tax policy, Business at OECD (BIAC) was present at the official signing ceremony for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures (MLI) to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which took place at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. The MLI opens the door to changes in the tax treaty process, and to a number of key international tax rules, that are significant. Concurrently, USCIB and the OECD were holding their 12th annual international tax conference in Washington DC, which brought together over 300 tax policy experts.

The UN Ocean Conference

This conference, coinciding with World Oceans Day, seeks to discuss and promote the implementation of SDG 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Business at OECD Gears Up for OECD Ministerial Council Meeting

Business at OECD (BIAC) will be hosting executive leadership, including USCIB’s President and CEO Peter M. Robinson, and Citi’s Rick Johnston, USCIB board member and BIAC vice chair at their General Assembly in Paris this week. Business at OECD will also participate in the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, which will bring together economy, finance and trade ministers from OECD countries to discuss strategic orientations for the coming years under the theme “Making Globalization Work.”

Business at OECD will provide guidance to OECD and governments on addressing the challenges of strengthening growth and boosting economic participation, drawing upon its 2017 statement to Ministers, which includes recommendations on:

  • Support a better business environment and map competitiveness
  • Create the conditions to benefit from trade and investment on a level playing field
  • For growth and investment, ensure good governance and predictable tax policies
  • Increase participation by promoting the skills and competencies to thrive in the digital era
  • Focus on entrepreneurship

USCIB Statement on U.S. Withdrawal From the Paris Climate Agreement

New York, N.Y., June 1, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, issued the following statement on U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement:

“Like many others in the U.S. business community, USCIB is disappointed by the news that the Trump administration has elected to leave the Paris Climate Agreement. In our view, this decision could leave U.S. companies unprotected and exposed to possible discrimination under the Paris Agreement if the U.S. government is not at the table.

“The Paris Agreement is redefining global markets for energy and environmental goods and services, as well as providing major economic stimuli for companies. U.S. energy security and access were never threatened by the Paris Agreement, which allows each national government to define its own climate action plan. Moreover, the U.S. stands to benefit from trade and investment opportunities that the Paris Agreement will set in motion.

“We are interested to learn more about how the U.S. will pursue new arrangements while remaining in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. While it does so, we encourage the U.S. to stay involved on behalf of U.S. economic interests, and to bring U.S. solutions to this crucial global effort. We encourage the administration to reform areas of the UN climate framework toward more fair, transparent and balanced approaches that are responsive to U.S. circumstances and aspirations.

“USCIB members are committed to advancing sustainable development and environmental solutions through international cooperation, and have supported the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement since their inception. Multilateral forums and cooperative approaches are the best way to address the transboundary challenges of energy access and innovation, climate change and sustainable development. In close coordination with our global business partners, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF), USCIB will continue to champion U.S. business interests in the UNFCCC, and will seek opportunities to promote U.S. environment and energy solutions through business engagement and implementation, and to broadly deploy climate-friendly investment and innovation.

“USCIB has represented U.S. business interests in the UN climate negotiations for over 25 years, and during that time has benefited from the diligent efforts of U.S. government representatives at the table to advance and defend U.S. business interests, often under challenging conditions. We express thanks to the current U.S. climate negotiating team, and others with whom we have worked, for their extraordinary efforts on our behalf.”

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
Tel: +1 212 703 5043
jhuneke@uscib.org

USCIB Urges Wider Business Role at UN Financing for Development Forum

The second UN Financing for Development (FfD) Forum took place May 22-25 at UN headquarters in New York, serving as follow-up to the inaugural FfD Forum in 2015. The 2017 Forum provided impetus for the implementation of FfD outcomes and the delivery of means of implementation of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event featured expert segments on the seven action areas of the Addis Agenda, as well as other specific issues that UN member states mandated the FfD Forum to address. It also featured a dedicated dialogue with stakeholders, including business and industry.

Numerous business representatives took part both as panelists and speaking from the floor, including John Danilovich, secretary general of ICC and Ariel Meyerstein, senior vice president, corporate responsibility, Citi. USCIB Vice President for Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy gave remarks during the segment on trade, capacity building, technology and innovation,  noting the increasing role the private sector has been taking with regards to mobilizing finance, investment, solutions and expertise for sustainable development, as well as the increasing role of business in the evolution to an SDG-guided international framework of cooperation and implementation.

“Trade is a powerful vehicle for development, and it also creates a network for broad deployment of innovative technologies and knowhow,” Kennedy said. However, she acknowledged that much remains to be done to deliver practical results and to implement programs and enabling environments that will allow the business community to contribute more significantly, noting, “the level and scope of engagement need to be radically scaled up from business communities in developing countries.”

 

Annual General Meetings of both the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM)

Three key messages are to be discussed during the annual general meeting of the IAFN/PSM:

(1) Business wants to be involved and can bring constructive, practical insights;

(2) Business has specific proposals for engagement in CFS work streams (nutrition, SDGs, MYPOW, women’s empowerment); and

(3) Business would like to partner more effectively on food security and nutrition issues, so selecting good priority issues for CFS where consensus can be built is important.