Side Event: Aligning the Private Sector to the SDGs.

Monday 20th April Conference Room B, UN New York, 1:15-2:45

Organized by UNCTAD, AVIVA, Tellus Institute and Stakeholder Forum


UNCTAD, SDSN, AVIVA, Tellus Institute, and the UN Global Compact (TBC)

This session aims to review the role of the private sector in helping to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development.

The 8 and 9 April interactive dialogues on the Zero draft of the FfD 3rd Conference with the private sector and Civil Society showed huge differences in perceived role of the private sector. On the 8th the private sector felt there was not enough on the enabling environment for the private sector, while on the 9th with CSOs, there was a strong push back against the privatization of financing for development. We know public sources will not be sufficient and both the public and private sector will have to contribute to achieve the SDGs.

The private sector will play a role in the partnership to achieve the SDGs. What can they do to help fund the goals and targets? What accountability mechanisms should be put in place? What role could they play in multi-stakeholder partnerships?

If the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to succeed, they must promote inclusive capitalism. In other words, capital markets that address Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues at every stage of intermediation. This involves ensuring that capital markets are comprised of intermediaries that embed long term sustainability thinking throughout their operations and within their culture. For policy makers to achieve this requires a holistic, long term and systemic view of the financial markets as well as a clear view on the promotion of good standards, transparency, and appropriate incentive structures within these financial intermediaries. It also requires the correction of market failures that allow unsustainable companies to externalize costs onto society, weakening the long term potential of the global economy.

Policy makers need to promote good investment standards, and ensure that there is a chain of transparency and accountability connecting all the various stages of financial intermediaries with the individuals that invest at one end of the supply chain with the companies that they ultimately capitalize at the other.

At the moment, the supply chain of capital has significant stages of intermediaries; the operations of most of them are poorly understood due to a lack of transparency and poor financial literacy among the end investors and regulators. Consequently, there is a lack of accountability


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