#UnitingBusiness LIVE UN General Assembly
Global Compact Network Australia | October 5, 2020
To mark the opening of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, the UN Global Compact virtually hosted the Uniting Business LIVE event, from 21 to 23 September. The three-day virtual event, hosting three unique conferences, brought together CEOs, corporate sustainability executives, policymakers, civil society leaders, young business leaders, and UN Chiefs to discuss the COVID-19 recovery and share their commitments to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The first conference, the Private Sector Forum, gathered global leaders to address major global issues including climate change, sustainable development and human rights. An important part of this conference included the presentation of a Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation from Sanda Ojiambo, the CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. Over 1,000 Chief Executive Officers from companies in over 100 countries have signed onto the commitment thus demonstrating their support for inclusive multilateralism and the UN’s mission.
The second conference, the Global Impact Forum, showcased four key initiatives for mobilising corporate action on the Global Goals: SDG Ambition, Target Gender Equality, Young SDG Innovators, and Business Ambition for 1.5°C. This Forum also saw the launch of the SDG Ambition guides, which aim to support businesses in accelerating action when it comes to the SDGs.
On the launch of the SDG Ambition guides, Sanda Ojiambo said, “The Sustainable Development Goals will not become a reality without greater ambition as well as deeper integration within businesses. By translating the ambition level of the SDGs into concrete aspirations, actions and outcomes for business we hope that these new guides will enable business to have a substantial impact to help the world meet our collective goals.”
The third and final day of Uniting Business LIVE, on 23 September, hosted the SDG Business Forum. This conference convened by the UN Global Compact, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) assembled more than 12,000 sustainability leaders. The event, focused on the theme “Redefining Business Leadership in a COVID-19 World” and highlighted the imperative need to address critical vulnerabilities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic including, climate change and nature loss, economic exclusion, and social inequality. This Forum also saw the launch of The COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility, a major new initiative developed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UN Global Compact, and ICC which aims to bring together public and private sector partners to help local communities to recover better from the pandemic.
Through these three high-level online events, Uniting Business LIVE facilitated important discussions on timely topics essential to transforming business models and economies to become more just and inclusive throughout this time of unprecedented disruption and global transformation.
At the final Forum, Sanda Ojiambo highlighted the need for this inclusivity stating, “If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that our collective health and prosperity depend upon working together to protect people and the planet. And leaving no one behind.”