On November 7-8 2018, in Cairo, Egypt, there took place the Fifth Annual Forum ‘Business for Peace’, which brought together private sector, civil society, government officials and the UN representatives under the aegis of the GC Local Network Egypt, for the sake of common goal to exchange experience and search for systemic solutions for business in the area of humanitarian action and peacemaking.
The Forum ‘Business for Peace’ was established at the initiative of then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and supported by the UN Global Compact Action Platform ‘Business for Peace’.Business for Peace is a platform of close to 150 leading companies and business associations from 37 countries dedicated to catalyzing collaborative action to advance peace. Four previous sessions took place in Istanbul, New York, Dubai and Bogota, and the Cairo meeting has become a continuation of this global dialogue.
The scale, intensity and urgency of conflicts create immense humanitarian need, and the current humanitarian crises require action from all actors in society. According to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 80 percent of humanitarian needs are now linked to violent conflict, and according to United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR), the global displacement figure for 2017 includes nearly 25.4 million refugees around the world. There is an estimated 258 million international migrants around the world today, of which 150 million are workers. Approximately 25 million people are victims of forced labor globally and operate in precarious working environments. Early estimates show that it will take US$ 5-7 trillion of annual public and private investment globally into sectors as wide ranging as education, clean energy, agriculture, and health to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.. There is also overwhelming evidence of the cost of conflict to the economy — in 2016, the economic impact of violence was US$ 14.3 trillion in purchasing power parity, equivalent to over 12% of global GDP.
The objective of thematic forums and of the UNGC Action Platform is to is to scale-up private sector contributions and partnerships for the achievement of the SDGs and sustaining peace by sharing experiences, emerging practices and learning- with an emphasis on moving beyond anecdotal examples to systemic solutions. They also aim to delve into the role of the private sector in humanitarian crises and complex emergencies, focusing on people affected by conflict Motivate and expand the Business for Peace community by sharing experiences, emerging practices and learning, with an emphasis on moving beyond anecdotal examples to systemic solutions.
Following these preconditions, participants of the Cairo forum discussed achieving the Sustainable Development Goals while sustaining peace; modernizing humanitarian action; innovative and impact investment for peace; addressing human rights of migrant workers, eliminating slavery & human trafficking; empowering women as agents of peace: the role of the private sector; promoting entrepreneurship to sustain peace.
Forum experts presented not only their practical experience and possible mechanisms, confirming their efficiency and have not only high potential (investment in social and economic development, partnership with governments and other stakeholders, better integration for migrant workers, risks mitigation on forced labour and human rights violations in supply chains), but also an investment and economic solutions and humanitarian well-being (including SDGs financing mechanisms, framework of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) on factors understanding the factors that create it and valuing increases in peacefulness).