How business can act on the Sustainable Development Goals
Business can bring innovation and resources to the work of delivering on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. They just need to decide to do so.
Through an incredibly participatory process, the United Nations brought the world together to launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All 193 member states agreed in September to an ambitious agenda of 17 new global development goals that aim to end poverty, promote well-being and protect the planet.
Yet I find myself wondering whether we will go back to business as usual, or will the SDGs really spur us to collaborate between sectors to achieve real change by 2030?
Many have criticized the SDGs for including too many issues — 17 goals with 169 targets — raising the risk that we could splinter off into our silos to work toward our "favorite" goal, forgetting the importance of long-term policy changes through strong local institutions. Goal 16 addresses this systemic, societal change:
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Unfortunately, the private sector and local civil society often find themselves at odds on issues of accountable governance, social inclusion and peacebuilding; but meaningful joint investment to achieve Goal 16 is important now more than ever.
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