The private sector can help nations reach the 2015 deadline of realizing the Millennium Development Goals, United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon said, urging corporate executives to strengthen their engagement with the global agency.
“Let us recognize that investments in the MDGs are investments in sustainable economic growth. Business will flourish only if people do,” Ban said June 23 at the sidelines of a summit of the Global Compact, a U.N. initiative seeking to promote socially responsible business practices.
The U.N., governments and businesses should agree on a “development compact” to help firms collaborate even more actively with the U.N. to boost efforts in improving living conditions.
Meanwhile, U.K. International Development Minister Alan Duncan said that impoverished communities should be viewed as potential consumers, producers and suppliers, and not just recipients of charity.
“This means that a company operating in a developing country should find local workers to fill their vacancies, use local producers and entrepreneurs as their suppliers and create goods and services that can raise local living standards. In return, companies can expect to secure sustainable supply chains and gain a foothold in a new and growing market,” Duncan said during the event, which took place in New York.
To boost private sector participation in development initiatives, governments need to foster a stable business environment and support initiatives that attract large-scale capital investments to the developing world, Duncan said. Governments can also help firms manage risks and share costs, he added.