The Private Sector is Ready to Increase Engagement and Mobilize Resources to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Norine Kennedy, vice president for energy and environment of USCIB, attended the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Financing for Development Forum in New York, NY which convened from May 22-25, 2017. On May 25, Kennedy delivered a statement on behalf of the business groups working with the FfD Business Sector Steering Committee about the importance of increasing the private sector’s role in mobilizing resources for sustainable development.
Responding to numerous government proposals to involve business in SDG implementation, Kennedy stated that the private sector is vital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “whether directly or through innovation and investment, public-private partnerships, provision of expertise, services and equipment, linkages with SMEs and the creation of value chains involving new technologies and processes that are cleaner and greener.” Businesses have already taken great strides to implement changes for the SDGs that were referenced in the FfD Forum, including Goal 8 – Promote Economic Growth & Decent Work; Goal 9 – Build Infrastructure, Foster Innovation; and Goal 17 – Strengthen Means of Implementation.
However, Kennedy notes that there does need to be an increase in business engagement. Kennedy encouraged the FfD Forum to utilize the private sector to achieve the SDGs in an array of areas covered by the Forum, including finance and investment, innovation, and public-private partnerships among other matters. Public-Private Partnerships are integral to achieving the SDGs by leveraging the private sector’s resources to assist with the development efforts of the UN Member States. In her presentation on one of the Forum’s expert panels, Dr. Sirimali Fernando, Chair of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, mentioned three key actions – synergize, harmonize and coordinate – that were critical to advancing innovation, and Kennedy agreed that businesses see collaborative public-private actions as vital for the SDGs.
The Financing for Development forum was established to address the follow-up and review of the commitments of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) regarding the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It included special meetings with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). USCIB has been represented in the FfD Business Sector Steering Committee, led by the International Chamber of Commerce, since its inception.
Read the full speech from Norine Kennedy here.