United Nations Global Compact set to galvanise business action around sustainability and post 2015 agenda, says United Nations Under-Secretary-General

Tue, 10th February, 2015 @ The Imperial hotel, New Delhi

Global Compact Network India (GCNI), the Indian arm of United Nations Global Compact recently concluded the Special Lecture by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on ‘Sustainable Development Goals and India: 2015 and Beyond’ on February 4, 2015 at The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi. The lecture was attended by 150 participants, including business leaders, academic institutions, civil society organizations and bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies and the systems.

Setting the tone for the event Pooran Chandra Pandey, Executive Director, GCNI emphasised on the need for businesses to be a force for good and galvanise action around sustainability processes and value chains for escalated, coordinated and comprehensive interventions that create win-win situation for businesses and community.

Speaking on the theme, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar stated that to achieve the global sustainable vision each nation state would need to set its targets individually. The MDGs faced criticism for not sufficiently covering the environmental dimension of sustainable development, and for not addressing inter-linkages between its three dimensions economic, social and environmental. The new goals rather than addressing the dimensions of sustainable development separately, fully integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and innovate and transform means of implementation, including new partnerships, institutions, technology transfer, capacity building, information access and monitoring and reporting for accountability, to achieve its outcome.

Elaborating further, she stated that being home to one-sixth of the world’s population; India has an opportunity to become a leader in sustainable development. The world is already looking up-to India to set its emission reduction targets, which can only happen if key stakeholders come together to commit to sustainable development. She applauded the India Network for playing a pivotal role in bringing together key stakeholders and taking forward the Sustainability agenda in India.

Welcoming the Under-Secretary-General of the Dr. A.K Balyan, Executive Member, Governing Council, Global Compact Network India and MD & CEO, Petronet LNG said the ball has started rolling and India has begun the process of transforming its economy from an economic growth center to a holistic economy addressing different contours of development. In the past few years, India has recorded high economic growth across and its economic policies and campaign like the ‘Make in India’ are focused on fostering economic growth on one hand and empowering the people placed at bottom of the pyramid on the other. The corporate in India, while being in sync with the government policies, is also stressing on community involvement, collaborations, and innovations.

Dr. S.P.S Bakshi, Vice President (Northern Region), GCNI and Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Engineering Projects (India) Limited in his concluding remarks said that Indian businesses are fully geared to support the rollout of the SDGs and its subsequent implementation with key stakeholders and galvanize business action around poverty alleviation. He further added that ten principles of the Global Compact have become ever so more important and businesses are voluntarily are adhering and reporting on their business performance.

This event was a precursor to the 10th National Convention being organized by Global Compact Network India on 14th February 2015 at ITC Windsor, Bengaluru.