The future we want – with the Sustainable Development Goals at its core

Published: 22 Sep 2020
Type: News

New York City, 22 September 2020: Each year in September, the UN Member States meet in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to consider the most pressing global challenges. But this year’s UN General Assembly will be a little different. For the 75th anniversary of the UN General Assembly, the event will be held almost entirely online.

As part of the series of UNGA-week side events, Business Fights Poverty, the world's largest business-led network for social impact, is holding a series of virtual sessions from 21-25 September across a range of topics. The sessions are structured around the following themes: Imagining the Future We Want; Creating an Equitable World; Helping People Survive and Thrive; Building Resilient Livelihoods; and Shaping System-Level Partnerships.

Yesterday, James Gomme, Director of SDGs and Vision 2050 at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), spoke in a session hosted with AB InBev. The discussions focused on existing challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the opportunities for business to be part of the solution in building, through partnerships across societal actors, more resilient, inclusive, and greener business models.

Other panelists in the session included:

  • Catalina Garcia Gomez, Global Director of Corporate Affairs, AB InBev
  • Daniella Foster, Global VP & Head, Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability, Consumer Health, Bayer
  • Madden Manion, Executive Director, Corporate Partnerships, CARE
  • Nicky Black, Director, Social and Economic Development Programme, International Council on Mining & Metals
  • Zahid Torres-Rahman, Founder and CEO, Business Fights Poverty (moderator)

James Gomme’s key message centered around the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the COVID-19 recovery and response. “A crucial opportunity that we have as we look to build back better is that in the form of the SDGs we already have a clear Vision of the future we need to create. At their core, The SDGs are about solving the world’s greatest challenges and ensuring that no one is left behind in the process. They provide us with a ready-made, universally agreed framework on how to build back better.”

He also underlined that the pandemic has also served to underline how much work we still have ahead of us to realize the SDGs. “COVID-19 has exposed some fundamental systemic vulnerabilities that will need addressing if we are to build back better. Moving forward, it is important that we address the vulnerabilities that have been exposed and ensure that we put the SDGs at the heart of our efforts to respond.”

Video highlights of the session can be seen below

About Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020
Business Fights Poverty NYC Online 2020 is co-hosted with AB InBev and Visa, and a range of supporting partners, including Anglo American, Mars, Nestlé, Standard Chartered and Walmart, and is part of Global Goals Week. Content partners include Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Responsibility Initiative, the UN Office for Partnerships, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Business in the Community, The Partnering Initiative, and the League of Intrapreneurs.

WBCSD resources on business and SDGs

WBCSD contact point

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