Progress toward sustainable development is seriously off-track

UN Photo/Manuel Elias UN Secretary-General António Guterres at UN Headquarters, New York (2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


The UN Secretary-General is calling on business leaders to use their “enormous influence” to push for inclusive growth and opportunities that benefit all people and the planet.

António Guterres made the appeal in an op-ed first published earlier this week in the Financial Times.

“It is both good ethics and good business to invest in sustainable, equitable development,” he wrote.

“Corporate leadership can make all the difference to creating a future of peace, stability and prosperity on a healthy planet.”

He pointed to recent protests across the world where people have taken to the streets to protest rising living costs as well as real, or perceived, injustice.

“They feel the economy is not working for them — and in some cases, they are right. A narrow focus on growth, regardless of its true cost and consequences, is leading to climate catastrophe, a loss of trust in institutions and a lack of faith in the future,” he said.

Mr. Guterres believes the private sector is critical to solving these problems, and businesses have been working with the UN to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in 2015.

The 17 SDGs address challenges such as poverty, inequality, the climate crisis, and peace and justice. They aim to bring about a more just future by the deadline of 2030.

‘We are seriously off-track’

The UN chief noted that since their adoption, extreme poverty and child mortality have fallen. However, he lamented that overall, “we are seriously off-track”, with

lack of financing a contributing factor. As public funding is not enough to meet the challenge, the UN is working with the financial sector to fill the gap.

Mr. Guterres stated that businesses need long-term investment policies which serve society, not just shareholders. He added that the UN and the private sector are working to find new ways to invest in sustainable growth and development

Last month, 30 leaders of multinational companies meeting at the UN launched the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance. Already they are backing clean energy projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, among other initiatives.

‘Push for policy change’

The UN chief expressed hope that other business leaders will follow suit.

Mr. Guterres further called on the corporate sector “to go beyond investment and push for policy change”, noting that consumers are already exerting pressure.

“We need business leaders to use their enormous influence to push for inclusive growth and opportunities,” he said. “No one business can afford to ignore this effort, and there is no global goal that cannot benefit from private sector investment.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Parliament and Council agree drastic cuts to plastic pollution of environment

OECD Secretary-General statement on Europe Day

3 steps to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness in the digital age

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

At COP24, countries agree concrete way forward to bring the Paris climate deal to life

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

Yemen: ‘No justification for this carnage,’ says UNICEF chief, as children in need now outnumber population of Switzerland

Protectionism doesn’t stand a chance in the age of connectivity

Who is to profit from the quasi announced ECB rate cut?

EU and China to do more in common if the global scene gets worse

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

The three biggest challenges for India’s future

India is investing more money in solar power than coal for first time

Could Rwanda become Africa’s healthcare leader?

Coronavirus fears may have driven over 300,000 UK smokers to quit

Is Eurozone heading towards a long stagnation?

Measles claims more than twice as many lives than Ebola in DR Congo

Violence in North and West Africa increasingly targeting civilian and border areas – OECD/SWAC

Who really cares for the environment?

Emotional control and introspectivity in times of pandemic

What Keynes can teach us about government debt today

Rule of law in Poland and Hungary has worsened

Failing to agree climate action would ‘not only be immoral’ but ‘suicidal’, UN chief tells COP24

Young and unemployed the perfect victims of ‘vultures’

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Stepped-up efforts needed to combat pneumonia; save nearly nine million children’s lives

FROM THE FIELD: Saving the tree kangaroos of Papua New Guinea

For Africa, ‘winds of hope are blowing ever stronger,’ Guterres declares at conference on development

Advancing multilateralism goes ‘hand-in-hand’ with work of the UN

What does reimagining our energy system look like?

Fact-checking Day: Fighting the virus of disinformation on Covid-19

EU Budget: A Reform Support Programme and an Investment Stabilisation Function to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

India’s 1.3 billion residents start 21-day lockdown – Today’s coronavirus updates

Amazon on fire: the interference in global health

Why we need a blockchain bill of rights

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

5 principles for effective cybersecurity leadership in a post-COVID world

Meet Cipta: the comic book hero using her powers to tackle bullying in schools

MWC 2016 LIVE: BT chief aims to be at UK 5G forefront

We need impartial LGBT+ news to advance human rights

Brussels waits for the Germans to arrive

ACP-EU : Agreement on climate change, migration and post-Cotonou

Supply chains have been upended. Here’s how to make them more resilient

China’s Ambassador to the EU Zhang Ming wishes to Brussels a Happy 2019 Year of the Pig

Europe’s dirty air kills 400,000 people every year

The future of energy is being shaped in Asia

Does the Erasmus program really contribute to the construction of a solid EU identity?

A new global platform to unleash entrepreneurs on the world’s toughest problems

Asian and Pacific economies: decreases in tax revenue highlight need to broaden tax bases

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

Fleeing Venezuela: MEPs to probe humanitarian conditions in Colombia and Brazil

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

Sovereign wealth funds could increase equality in a post-COVID world

The European Sting @ European Business Summit 2014 – the preview

Why is Grexit again in the news? Who is to pay for Eurozone’s banking problems?

Syria: UN food relief agency ‘doing everything we can’ to reach Idlib civilians

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’

New phenomena in the EU labour market

FROM THE FIELD: Photos highlight agony of West African civil wars

New EU rules and guidance for a fairer online economy

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s