Making Global Goals Locals Business

On 26 April 2018, the United Nations Global Compact and Global Compact Network Argentina concluded their two-day event in Buenos Aires, Making Global Goals Local Business – Argentina. Nearly 600 local and global leaders from business, finance, civil society, Government, Global Compact Local Networks and the UN attended the event, organized to underscore the impact of multi-stakeholder partnerships and responsible business action in support of the UN Global Goals.

In a video message to attendees to the event, Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, remarked, “The 2030 Agenda is a transformative plan for our world. It will take more than business as usual to achieve it. We need to foster a new generation of partnerships and the private sector is critical”.

Conference participants discussed how business can take a principles-based approach to the 17 Global Goals, and indeed sustainable development more broadly. This approach — rooted in the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact — is a central reference point for all companies looking to contribute to the Global Goals.

Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, emphasized the importance of the priorities for 2018 as identified by UN Secretary-General António Guterres: “Climate change, human rights, financing of the Sustainable Development Goals — all of us at the UN Global Compact have of course picked up his wise priorities. And they are all founded in the biggest gaps that we have seen after two years with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The event featured the launch of the digital Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs, an interactive resource that challenges business to think critically about how five leadership qualities — Intentional, Ambitious, Consistent, Collaborative and Accountable — can be applied to their strategies. It encourages companies to adopt holistic and systemic solutions to achieve the scale of impact required for realizing the Global Goals, and is based on a recognition that positive contributions to the Goals require a foundation of integrity and responsibility.

The UN Global Compact also released a report focusing on business action in the region, Business Partnerships for the Global Goals: Advances in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report highlights that an overwhelming majority of companies participating in the UN Global Compact in the region — 80 per cent — are taking action on the Global Goals, the highest engagement anywhere in the world. The report also summarizes key findings from a report on progress from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Flavio Fuertes, the Focal Point for Global Compact Network Argentina, said in a closing statement: “I have the good fortune of working together with a team of people who articulate that the UN values are values we have to live — we have to experience them, and share them through our actions and take forward the best of us, and this is what we put into this event.”

As a precursor to global discussions on national progress taking place later this year, Making Global Goals Local Business – Argentina was an opportunity for business to play an active role in taking stock of progress on the Global Goals across Latin America and the Caribbean. It followed the XVI Annual Local Network Forum (ALNF), which explored how Local Networks can play a leading role in facilitating private sector engagement with the Global Goals. The ALNF brought together 100 Local Network Contact Points and Representatives from around the globe to discuss Network governance and related activities.