The Time for Business to Act is Now
On the 25th September 2015 in New York a document entitled Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was endorsed by the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly. The Agenda set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets covering a range of issues facing humanity including action on ending poverty, combating hunger, universally improving health and education, making our cities more sustainable, tackling climate change, and protecting our oceans and forests.
Unlike the Millennium Development Goals that came before them, the ambition and universality of the SGDs meant that every country on the planet, developed or developing, stands to benefit. Delivering on the goals—we were assured by the authors of the agenda—would create a fairer world, one where reduced poverty, improved health, and better education would create greater wealth that would be more evenly distributed.
Fast forward exactly three years to the day (September 25, 2018), in the very same city just a few blocks to the north and west from that milestone event. A small gathering on the fringe of Climate Week NYC co-hosted by French bank BNP Paribas and SparkNews’ fabulously well intentioned Positive Innovation Club are the recipients of some rather sobering views. “We’ve achieved almost nothing,” announced Jeffrey Sachs, renowned professor of economics and since 2017, special advisor to the UN Secretary General on the SDGs.
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