This month the world will see a historic declaration when citizens of the world will formally adopt the new development agenda, ‘Sustainable development Goals’ which will improve the lives of people everywhere. These goals serve as a charter for governments of nations to build a more sustainable and equitable world.
Learnings from the experience of the Millennium Development Goals, has made the signatory member countries more aware of how they would draft the roadmap to achieve these 17 ambitious goals. And one of the most prominent overarching issue identified, has been finding the adequate resources to achieve these goals, targets and indicators. This has been echoed by most of the developing countries.
Many had expectations that during the recently concluded third international financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, the issue would be addressed by closing on the proposal of the intergovernmental tax body. But it was rejected leaving question marks on the commitment exhibited by the developed and rich nations. The outcome document agreed by the countries is a ‘feeble’ assurance and the veracity of its contents will only be revealed by times to come.
In these murky circumstances, private sector is the strong beacon of hope to help the world find sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing economic, environmental and social problems. The UN Global Compact whose General Assembly Mandate is to “promote responsible business practices and UN values among the global business community and the UN System,” seems a good way to begin. The UNGC which is “CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals” can promote sustainable business practices and encourage private sector for resources and financial support.
With more trends of the young workforce drawn towards organizations working for a ‘purpose’ there has been increasing realizations in corporate houses to move rapidly the CSR initiatives and embrace social impact into their core business strategy.
But with investments worth $2 trillion annually for the new SDG goals, there needs to be further engagement from the private sector. More and more global companies need to adopt this global agenda to help write a successful development story for the world.
Partnership approach with both private and public entities coming together is indeed another mode which can help governments of nations to not just get good support but also in turn build their capacities.
Along with new innovative approaches to engage private sector, traditional governments led interventions are also crucial for all round development assistance.
As all of us witness history later this month in New York, many eyes will also eagerly await any update on more inclusive engagement by the Private sector.