In September 2015, more than 190 countries signed up to the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development (Global Goals), which set out a vision for ending poverty, hunger, inequality and protecting the Earth’s natural resources by 2030. The achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals will require all hands on deck. It will require different sectors and actors working together in an integrated manner by pooling financial resources, knowledge and expertise. In our new development era with 17 intertwined Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets as a blue-print for achieving the sustainable Future We Want, cross sectorial and innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships will play a crucial role for getting us to where we need by the year 2030. Our role in contributing to the development of the Global Goals We contributed in the early consultation to the development of the Global Goals, recognising their strategic importance to business and our future generations and sought to ensure that the voice of business was included in the negotiations. During 2016 and 20117 we have served on a panel of representatives from government, civil society and business tasked with reviewing strengthening the ability of business to substantially help achieve the Global Goals and to raise awareness of the Global Goals and contribute to their achievement by 2030.
The first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) was held in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016. The summit was a global call to action by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It brought together 9,000 participants representing 180 Member States, including 55 Heads of State and Government, hundreds of civil society and non-governmental organisations, and partners including the private sector and academia. Which we were a part of. The purpose of the summit was to set a forward-looking agenda for humanitarian action to collectively address future humanitarian challenges. The Summit had three main goals:
Our role in contributing to the development of the WHS. We contributed in the early Thematic Advisory Groups, highlighting the strategic importance non financial support from the business community and to ensure that the voice of business was included in the development of programs. Our contribution extended to provide the UN with access to the networks, skills and opportunities they need to succeed. More than a dozen initiatives, partnerships, platforms and alliances were either newly developed or strengthened through the World Humanitarian Summit process and will help implement the Core Responsibilities and turn the Agenda for Humanity into reality. Initiatives range from funds to finance education in emergencies, to data platforms and charters on inclusion. They ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities, children and youth, migrants, older persons, and other marginalized people will be fully taken into account in preparedness and response and work on new, innovative ways to finance humanitarian action. We continue to serve as a member of the Thematic Advocacy Group.
A key requirement of the UN Guiding Principles is for businesses to have a policy statement that addresses their responsibility to respect human rights. We are committed to safe and healthy working conditions as well as the right to freedom of association. We expect our partners to adhere to business principles consistent with our own, and where we can, bring to their attention the UNGC principles. We act in part, as ambassadors. Our commitment to human rights within our own operations, specifically our commitment to ensuring a working environment that promotes diversity, encourages and works towards a workplace where there is mutual trust, respect for human rights and equal opportunity, and no unlawful discrimination or victimisation. We continue to serve as a member of the Steering Committee in South East Asia.