UNDP calls for businesses to play greater role in new development era
SINGAPORE, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) — The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Wednesday called on business leaders to paly a greater role in the new development era in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The call was made at the Responsible Business Forum for Sustainable Development co-organized here by UNDP and Global Initiatives.
Themed on “Innovation and Collaboration to Deliver the Global Goals”, the 5th Responsible Business Forum (RBF) convened over 750 business leaders, senior government officials, UN agencies and NGOs in the city state.
Singapore’s Minister for Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong gave an urgent call for action for governments, businesses, and consumers in the Asia Pacific to come together to tackle the SDG in his opening remarks.
Wong cited that this had been a year of surprises and upheavals but that forums such as RBF were important for bringing governments, businesses together to align on goals and that good progress was being made in this regard.
“It’s not only about Corporation Social Responsibility and donating millions of dollars. All of us have the moral obligation, it’s about aligning business outcomes with the SDG — my appeal before this forum — businesses must do their part,” said Wong.
Echoed with Wong’s words, Haoliang Xu, UN assistant secretary-general and UNDP director for the Asia-Pacific, noted that the new development era presents unprecedented challenges and called for unprecedented solutions to ensure stability and sustainability.
“All sectors of society — private and public, international and domestic — must join together to address challenges that affect the wellbeing of us all. Our role is to combine decades of experience with ideas and resources from new partners,” said Xu.
Mark Cliffe, chief economist of ING Group, said new technologies promise to help catalyze the business contribution to the delivery on the SDG, and governments also have an important role in facilitating and incentivizing business action.
The forum provides opportunities to examine each of the SDG in depth with case studies and insights from businesses, governments, UN agencies and international experts. Over 50 leading corporate brands present their business cases for SDG integration during the forum.