In Addis Ababa, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today underscored the crucial financing role of the business sector in ensuring the necessary resources for people-centred sustainable development.
“I urge private sector leaders - including CEOs and institutional investors - to be part of the solution, and to consider new commitments for investment in sustainable development,” Mr. Ban told participants at the Business Forum of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which is taking place in the Ethiopian capital from 13 to 16 July.
“I also urge even greater engagement in socially responsible investment and environmental, social and governance issues,” he added.
The Conference is expected to launch a renewed and strengthened partnership to secure the resources needed for the well-being of all people and the health of the planet.
The Business Forum provides an opportunity for business and investors to, among other things, influence the global dialogue to ensure an enabling environment for business; underscore the role and success of the private sector in delivering development solutions; and demonstrate the private sector's ability to scale and accelerate progress given their creativity, capacity for innovation, technical and management skills and financial resources.
“It is clear that responsible business and investment will play a critical role,” the UN chief stated, noting that the financing requirements to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals that world leaders will adopt in September will “far surpass” current development flows.
“We will need complementary forms of financing,” he said, adding that private investment and the business sector have important financing roles.
Mr. Ban also highlighted the UN Global Compact, the world's largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative, which has rallied business behind important issues such as fighting corruption, fair labour standards and human rights.
With over 8,000 companies and 4,000 non-business stakeholders in 160 countries, the Compact can “mobilize a global force of businesses for good,” he stated.