Businesses can contribute in important ways to the realization of a world free of poverty and hunger by 2030, including through job creation, technological innovation and the provision of finance resources, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General said on Tuesday.
“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have captured the imagination of leaders and general public alike,” said Amina Mohammed at the SDG Business Forum, one of the hundreds of events being held during the 9-18 July gathering devoted to development issues, known as the High-level Political Forum, organized by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
“The private sector brings both agility in delivery and new approaches to SDG implementation”, she added.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals were adopted by world leaders in September 2015 as a blueprint for creating a healthy, equitable and peaceful world.
“The 2030 Agenda cannot be achieved by Governments alone”, Ms. Mohammed said. “To address the needs of the most vulnerable in communities around the world, we need a bolder approach to partnership, a dynamically engaged business community, and new forms of sustainability financing.”
Businesses contribute to the 2030 Agenda in important ways: as engines of employment; through technological innovation; as sources of finance; and with market-based solutions that bring opportunities for women, young people and vulnerable groups, she said.
“However, much remains to be done to unlock the full power of business as a force for good”, she said, explaining that initiatives by many companies and sectors do not yet amount to the systemic change that is needed to transform economies and societies – including the empowerment of women.
The United Nations has a critical role to play in bringing all stakeholders together, providing a global platform for reviewing SDG implementation, for the passing on of skills and know-how, and for catalyzing partnerships.
One key challenge is the large financing gap, in terms of both public and private resources and investments, she stressed, drawing attention to a High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda that the Secretary-General will host in September at UN Headquarters.