The United Nations has embarked on an ambitious effort to define forward-looking objectives – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to address global economic, social and health challenges. This exercise represents a unique opportunity to mobilize the international community around the importance of private sector-led growth and a more robust, inclusive global economy that makes significant strides towards eradicating poverty and improving the lives of people everywhere. The UN will formally adopt the SDGs and other elements of its 2030 Development Agenda at the SDG summit in New York from September 25 to 27.
USCIB believes that sustainability is best advanced by creating policy frameworks that catalyze the global marketplace and the business community’s role in developing solutions to environmental and other societal challenges. The private sector will be an essential partner to bridging the gap in finance and technical capacity necessary to meet the challenge of the 2030 Development Agenda and the specific agreed-upon SDGs.
“Business has made continuing contributions to sustainable development and wishes to encourage greater collaboration and partnership between the public and private sectors as we collectively make progress towards new practical SDGs in September and beyond,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson.
This is a landmark year that will define the global development agenda for the next 15 years. The financing needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030 will far surpass current official development flows, so the international community will have to leverage complementary forms of financing, including from the private sector.
Progress at Addis Ababa Conference
At the UN’s Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) in Ethiopia July, UN member states established a new financing framework to support sustainable development for the next 15 years. The final text—known as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda—sets out the means of implementation, including technology, domestic resource mobilization and blended finance and investment for the SDGs. USCIB played a central role in marshaling business input into FfD3, having worked actively with members and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to ensure that the private sector’s voice was heard at the development finance conference.
USCIB and its global network are also playing a lead role in providing business views to the UN and its member states on the SDGs, emphasizing the importance of integrating broader environmental, economic and social elements – including targets for improved national governance – into a wider concept of sustainable development.
This year, USCIB launched its “Business for 2030” website, designed to showcase the private sector’s contributions to the UN SDGs. The site is a resource for those who wish to learn more about the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda and its impacts on international business, and it serves as a catalog that illustrates how private companies are helping to achieve each one of the SDGs. Dozens of USCIB members have contributed case studies to Business for 2030, and we encourage others to get involved.
“Sustainable development is everyone’s business,” said Robinson. “The private sector is demonstrating that it can and should be a valuable partner in the UN’s mission to raise living standards and promote a cleaner, healthier and fairer world.”