The UN Global Compact convenes stakeholders to scale up partnerships at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 18 July 2019 — The United Nations Global Compact today convened representatives of Government, Global Compact Local Networks and the UN to discuss the creation of transformative country-level partnerships in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Organized as part of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the Making Global Goals Local Business event showcased how Global Compact Local Networks can help facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration, providing an opportunity for UN Member States and other stakeholders to explore the potential of partnering with the Networks in their respective countries.
In his opening remarks, His Excellency Ghassan Hasbani, Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon said: “The SDG framework is providing a unifying platform that everyone has a stake in. This shared responsibility has been extended to the private sector, where organizations not only embrace corporate social responsibility as an act of goodwill, but integrate sustainability in their core business, and that is the objective we are all aiming for.” He added: “This is no longer a Government discussion; it is a discussion with the whole of society and the private sector plays a major role.”
In her opening remarks, Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact stated: “The responsibility of solving the world’s problems cannot be left to the private sector, but there is much that principled businesses can do. Global Compact Local Networks are making a difference by helping companies understand what responsible business means within different national and cultural contexts. And — more than that — by encouraging business to stand up to challenges and take action.”
Global Compact Local Networks from Argentina, Indonesia and Lebanon shared concrete partnership examples, followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by Lotta Tähtinen, Chief of the Outreach and Partnerships Branch of the Division for SDGs at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
“Just this morning we had a dedicated VNR [Voluntary National Review] Lab on partnerships and we heard from so many countries about how they still continue to struggle with the engagement of the private sector at the national level,” Tähtinen said, adding that stakeholders had found Global Compact Local Networks to play a critical role in facilitating this collaboration.
In her closing remarks, Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said that the conversation between the private sector, Governments and civil society has to be further enhanced.
“Business as usual is not working. Private sector, civil society and the national Governments should talk about what are those sectors and economic activities that can bring us more quickly to the completion of the 2030 Agenda.” Closing out the event, she added: “Let’s agree upon what are the most important needs every region has where the private sector can make a difference.”
About the United Nations Global Compact Partnerships
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact works with companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact guides and supports the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 70 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.