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Can Business Help Achieve the Millennium Development Goals? Richard Leete UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia,

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Presentation on theme: "Can Business Help Achieve the Millennium Development Goals? Richard Leete UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Can Business Help Achieve the Millennium Development Goals? Richard Leete UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei UNAS Singapore 12:03:04

2 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) In September 2000, 189 world leaders at UN Millennium Summit adopted the Millennium Declaration containing the MDGs MDGs are 8 mutually reinforcing time-bound goals, with 18 related targets to be achieved by 2015 an accountability framework and a global partnership for progressively eradicating poverty MDGs re-specify and build on goals and targets of 1990s global UN conferences MDGs at forefront of global development agenda and a unifying tool for entire UN system

3 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? The MDGs MDG 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Target 1 Halve % of people whose income

4 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs?

5 MDG 8 Developing a Global Partnership for Development Developing countries primary responsibility for achieving MDGs 1-7 – mobilising domestic resources, ensuring good governance, policy reforms and so on Developed countries also have obligation (MDG 8) to help poorer countries achieve MDGs 1-7 Expand market access to increase trade – but discriminatory trade policies – eg high tariffs; agricultural subsidies in rich countries distorting world markets and so on Better access to technological progress – eg bridging digital divide, access to HIV/AIDS treatment and other measures More ODA – target 0.7% of GNI, Monterrey Consensus, yet many of richest economies giving less than half target

6 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? Development and Business Development is multisectoral and multidisciplinary: it must involve multiple actors Growth, with equity, drives sustainable development: partnerships, private and public sectors and NGOs, provide the vehicle MDGs intended to help poor people. But good for business too – eg infrastructure and capacity development big opportunity Woman washing dishes in Nepal 1.2 billion of worlds 6.3 billion people live in extreme poverty

7 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? Towards the Global Compact (GC) If the private sector does not deliver economic growth and economic opportunity – equitable and sustainable – around the world, then peace will remain fragile and social justice a distant dream. That is why I call today for a new partnership between governments, the private sector and the international community. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, Davos, 1999 We have a responsibility to redefine the role of the corporation on a world stage – and to leverage our ability to impact individuals, companies, communities, nations for the better. We must remake our businesses to be far more active corporate citizens – creators not only of shareholder value, but also of social value, in ways that are systemic and sustainable. Carly Fiona, Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett-Packard, New York, 2000

8 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? The GC UNs global corporate citizenship initiative bringing together companies, NGOs and trade unions with common purpose of fostering action in support of universal values Proposed by UN SG in 1999 and launched in NY in 2000 – 1,200 corporations from 70+ countries now involved from North and South countries Voluntary initiative to induce corporate change by promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) Consumers perceptions of companies now determined as much by a companys social and environmental practices as by its product brands (20 nation poll)

9 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? Responding to Global Challenges GC sees business as part of a solution to challenges of globalisation and achievement of MDGs Benefits unequally distributed – between and within countries and diminished investments in poorest countries Imbalance in global rule-making (WTO) and limited market access Financial and economic crises Fears of loss of cultural identity Global economic environment linked to global political and security climate – business confidence depends on political stability and security

10 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? GC Goals To make GC principles part of business strategy and operations To facilitate cooperation and collective problem- solving between different stakeholders To provide a platform for new forms of partnership building with multiple-actors

11 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? GC Principles Promises of Business Partners Human rights To support, respect and protect human rights No complicity in human rights abuses Labour rights To recognise collective bargaining To avoid forced or compulsory labour To refrain from employing child labour To eliminate discrimination in hiring and firing policies Environmental management A precautionary approach to environmental challenges Greater environmental responsibility To encourage use of environmentally friendly technologies

12 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? Engaging Through GC Policy Dialogue Facilitate mutual understanding and advocacy to help solve global development challenges Learning Internet forum for sharing experiences through presentations, examples or case studies, managed in GC Office Projects towards achieving MDGs With technical and financial support from, inter alia, business sector and operationalised through UNDP

13 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? How Business Supports Examples GC inspired numerous development initiatives – from AIDS awareness to anti-corruption, from e-learning to eco-efficiency E-Learning for life (Malaysia) To create ICT community centres in six pilot schools in disadvantaged areas – jointly undertaken by Min of Ed Malaysia, UNDP and Coca-Cola Malaysia, and funded by Coca-Cola Promoting economic self-reliance for women in vulnerable situations (Malaysia) Aimed at providing poor and vulnerable women with skills and seed funding to develop a sustainable source of livelihood – undertaken by UNDP and Carrefour International Foundation and funded by Carrefour

14 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? A Way Forward Beyond terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, UN also acts against risks and realities of poverty, hunger and disease Article 1 of UN Charter is to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace SGs Commission on the Private Sector and Development – Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor prtroot/ wsDocs/CPSD_text_Eng_FINAL.pdf Potential for businesses in Singapore, in partnership with UNDP, to launch the GC and CSR projects to, inter alia, support South-South development initiatives

15 Can Business Help Achieve the MDGs? Epilogue The future is full of promise as it is fraught with uncertainty. The industrial society is giving way to one based on knowledge. … we must learn and be part of the knowledge-based world. That we have succeeded in the last three decades does not ensure our doing so in the future. However, we stand a better chance of not failing if we abide by the basic principles that have helped us progress: social cohesion through sharing the benefits of progress, equal opportunities for all and meritocracy … Lee Kuan Yew, From Third World To First, Singapore, 2000

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