As the UN works to set the post-2015 agenda, a new report to the UN Secretary-General highlights how to engage business towards sustainable development goals.

A new report submitted to the office of the UN Secretary-General urges that, in the era following the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UN development agenda incorporates the capabilities of the private sector, which include innovation and investment, multi-sector collaboration and a shift to corporate models that link long-term business interests with social and environmental well-being.

The report, Corporate Sustainability and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda, is the culmination of UN Global Compact consultations and surveys with thousands of businesses in all major regions, in preparation for a discussion that will take place at the UN General Assembly plenary in September.

It contains business perspectives and recommendations in three areas: determining the core of a post-2015 agenda, including suggested sustainable development goals and targets; how to engage business and investors towards sustainable development goals; and recommending ways that Governments can advance inclusive and sustainable markets.

Following a year-long series of related discussions, representatives of Global Compact LEAD companies – a leadership platform comprised of 56 highly committed and engaged multinational corporations – share their perspective in the report on worldwide goals to extend and amplify the MDGs. Their proposed sustainable development goals, with affiliated targets, are: 1) End poverty and increase prosperity via inclusive economic growth; 2) Quality education for all; 3) Achieve women’s and girls’ empowerment; 4) Universal health coverage; 5) Good nutrition for all through sustainable food and agricultural systems; 6) Water and sanitation for all; 7) Sustainable energy for all; 8) Build peaceful and stable societies; 9) Modernize infrastructure and technology; and 10) Good governance and realization of human rights.

Drawing on more than ten years of experience mobilizing companies around UN principles, the report also recommends ways to most effectively engage business towards the post-2015 development agenda, including: broadening the corporate sustainability movement, deepening commitments by business on core issues, upgrading partnerships and collective action, strengthening capacity for implementation at the national and local levels, and leveraging the potential of private finance and investment.

The report envisions a world where prosperity is the general order among a broad majority, with an end to extreme poverty achievable in this generation, if economic growth is inclusive – particularly of marginalized groups, smallholder farmers, the informal sectors and women – and if entrepreneurial and decent job opportunities are widely available.

The viewpoints and analysis featured in the report will feed into preparations for the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013, bringing together chief executives from among the initiative’s 7,500 corporate participants, as well as representatives from civil society, Government and the UN, on 19-20 September in New York.


SOURCE: UN Global Compact

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