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United Nations Global Compact : Executive Update: A Historic Day as the United Nations Adopts Global Sustainable Development Goals

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09/26/2015 | 02:52am CEST
New York, United States of America

Posted by Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact on 25 September 2015

It is a historic day at the United Nations as all Member States come together in the General Assembly to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals - laying out a path over the next 15 years to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet.

At the heart of 'Agenda 2030' are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that address the most important economic, social, environmental and governance challenges of our time. The SDGs clearly define the world we want - applying to all nations and leaving no one behind.

I believe there is no more exciting time to be working with companies around the world to make business a force for good.

Action by business will be essential to the success of the global goals. And successful implementation of the SDGs will strengthen the enabling environment for doing business and building markets around the world. For all companies, the SDGs provide a global aspiration and common direction that can stimulate innovation, investments and positive engagement.

In this busy week at the UN, we are hearing many new calls to action for business. While this is critical momentum, we must also make sure that we are engaging business the right way. This means first ensuring that companies are committed to operating responsibly.

The UN Global Compact's Ten Principles are the foundation for any company seeking to advance the SDGs. These principles provide a universal definition for responsible business, calling on all companies to operate in ways that, at a minimum, respect fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

Beyond responsibility, there are of course so many opportunities for business. Global challenges - from climate, water and food crises, to poverty, conflict and inequality - are in need of solutions that the private sector can deliver.

We need more companies to transform their business models, set ambitious sustainability goals, and then measure and report their outcomes.

To help, the UN Global Compact will translate the SDGs for businesses globally and help companies understand how they can leverage these goals to drive good practices, growth opportunities and innovations. You can learn more about how a commitment to the UN Global Compact is the avenue for business to advance the SDGs in our new brochure, A Global Compact for Sustainable Development.

We must mobilize business action as never before. The UN Global Compact will look to our participants to strengthen their leadership and partnership so that together we can build a better future for all.

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