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Partnership or Business Case? Private Sector and the SDGs (New York)

Date: 
13 July, 2018
Time: 
7:15pm - 8:45pm
Location: 
Consulate General of Germany 871 United Nations Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10017
Event type: 
This side event to the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, co-sponsored by PSI, will discuss the activities and strategies of private sector actors towards the SDG implementation. Does private sector involvement lead to more sustainability, the implementation of the SDGs and positively affect business models and behavior in the long run – or not?

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the private sector plays a significant role for achieving the SDGs. Several corporations have pledged their support for the SDGs or evaluated the relevance of the SDG for their own business activities, and the UN Global Compact has started a global campaign to celebrate business leaders who are doing an exceptional job of taking action to advance the 2030 Agenda.

In many countries, the engagement of the private sector in the SDG implementation is part of official policies. Governments and UN are striving for increased commitment of the private sector, to finance the SDG implementation itself but also to bring growth to their economies. Along with this, many governments expect the SDG engagement of companies to lead to greater social and environmental awareness in business strategies.

Among civil society organizations (CSOs) this increased involvement of the private sector in sustainable development has received mixed responses. Some CSOs welcome more business involvement as a necessary coming to term with their respective responsibility and a shift in the understanding of the role of the private sector vis-a-vis society. As a result, various cooperation and partnerships between CSOs, governments and private sector have emerged. Other CSOs, view the growing involvement of the private sector in sustainable development rather critical. The democratic legitimation of this trend as well as the budgetary rationale of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) is being questioned as governments tend to hand over ever more of their duties and power to private companies, particularly in the social sector. CSOs view this as a further push towards the privatization of public goods and services or worry about a new form of green washing with the SDG.

This side event will discuss the following :

  • What are activities and strategies of private sector actors towards the SDG implementation?
  • Does private sector involvement lead to more sustainability, the implementation of the SDGs and positively affect business models and behavior in the long run – or not?
  • What are criteria and political frameworks for private sector engagement in the SDG implementation?
  • What would recommendations be for the private sector, governments and civil society organizations with regard to sustainable development?

Agenda

Opening remarks and introduction - Anna Cavazzini, Bread for the World

Findings from Case Study “SDGs and Finance Sector” - Wolfgang Obenland, Global Policy Forum

Discussion Round:

  • Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) (tbc)
  • Shanta Lall Mulmi, RECPHEC
  • UN Global Compact, NN (tbc)

Moderator: Marie-Luise Abshagen, German NGO Forum on Environment and Development

Closing Remarks: Public Services International

 

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