USCIB issued a statement to the UN General Assembly’s 75th session on September 21.
USCIB is ready to join forces with governments and the UN as we continue to respond aggressively and responsibly to the COVID-19 pandemic while advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is in the DNA of U.S. business to turn challenges into opportunities and to innovate and develop practical and realistic solutions. Businesses of all sizes, sectors and nationalities have already joined forces with governments and the multilateral community to respond aggressively and responsibly to the pandemic crisis while maintaining momentum towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. USCIB members are stepping up to the challenges related to COVID-19 response and recovery across healthcare, food security, social, economic and environmental dimensions. USCIB and its All In UN75 Initiative will continue to convene business dialogues to design and catalyze “building block actions” towards inclusive multilateralism, converging sustainability and COVID-19 recovery working with business.
Now is the time to mobilize all of society’s actions for sustainable, just, inclusive and resilient recovery and growth, leaving no-one behind. It is not enough to simply talk about the crucial role of business: the multilateral system and member states must incent and crowd in business for policy dialogue, partnership, implementation and assessment, and in project development and execution.
We urge the UN to:
- prioritize the essential enablers for action across the SDGs. The Decade of Delivery and Action should approach recovery from the triple shock of COVID-19 to healthcare, jobs, food security and economic activity on the foundation of good governance and rule of law as set out in SDG 16. For business, fundamental enablers for action have to do with inclusive and sustainable economic growth, supporting innovation and investment, and full and productive employment in order to:
- Advance human well-being and build human capacity
- Defeat poverty and reduce inequality
- Ensure access to essential basic services, such as health, education, water, energy, and sanitation
- Bring in experts and “do-ers” from the private sector and mobilize countries and other stakeholders to rebuild “forward” throughout their COVID-19 recovery, working with their private sectors in the framework of the 2030 Agenda.
On the occasion of UN75, and with a view to strengthening the UN to effectively respond to current and future challenges, USCIB and its members call on the international community to think outside the box and entertain innovative ideas for:
- cross-sectoral partnership and cooperation at the national and regional levels
- new options for gathering useful information to track shared value and impact
- new ways of conducting meetings that truly enhance substantive engagement of both government representatives, business and other stakeholders.
We encourage Member States and UN entities to:
- focus on synergies at national and global levels between COVID-19 response and recovery with the SDGs
- seize the opportunity to mainstream private sector partnership and expertise in that regard into the UN Decade of Action and Delivery
- support and provide new and concrete engagement mechanisms, institutional infrastructure and opportunities for the UN system, governments, businesses and other stakeholders to work together towards the UN Decade of Delivery and Action
- recognize that policy assessment and dialogue at global, regional and national level need to invite and integrate business views on a systematic basis across policy design, implementation and tracking.
Truly inclusive collaborative structures at national and global levels to share expertise, engage in dialogue and launch partnerships with business will be critical to strengthened implementation and impact, whether in developing and updating Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), strengthening Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the Paris Agreement, or framing sustainable development investment roadmaps.
We need not – indeed, must not — wait until the pandemic is past history to support and reinforce multilateralism and pursue “inclusive multilateralism” which:
- promotes peace, cooperation and social justice
- relies on effective and transparent multilateral bodies
- advances collaborative approaches among states
- encourages international dialogue and cooperation to design and implement effective policies
- engages business across all sectors and other stakeholders in substantive dialogue and partnerships
Such a collaborative “all hands on deck” approach will not only provide benefits to COVID-19 response and a just recovery, but will also be the cornerstone of the UN Decade of Action and Delivery allowing the international community itself to build forward better, for a resilient and strong UN that is recognized as ready for future challenges.