Private Sector Has More Opportunities Than Ever to Engage at the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, Says UN Global Compact

Sep 13, 2017 10:15 AM ET

Private Sector Has More Opportunities Than Ever to Engage at the United Nations…

NEW YORK, September 13, 2017 /3BL Media/ - The United Nations Global Compact announced today that the private sector will be able to engage in more than 30 business-oriented forums and events at the 72nd Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), taking place from 12-25 September 2017 in New York.   

“With less than 5,000 days to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by the 2030 deadline, there is urgent need for greater ambition and action from the global business community, and this year’s UNGA is the perfect moment to engage,” said UN Global Compact CEO & Executive Director Lise Kingo. “The UN Global Compact is excited to engage a diverse group of business leaders at our inaugural CEO Roundtable, annual UN Private Sector Forum and our Leaders Summit, as we will release new tools this year to enable greater private sector support for the SDGs. We welcome the partnership of our global membership, as well as new private sector leaders who have committed to our Ten Principles for responsible business and are dedicated to seeing accelerated progress toward the Global Goals.”

In 2015, the 193 members of the United Nations agreed to 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development — known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  If these Global Goals are achieved, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030 — and Governments are calling on private actors to be a part of the solution. The SDGs represent the most ambitious global development agenda in history and a tremendous opportunity to create a global movement for sustainable business.

This year’s UNGA will largely focus on progress to date on the SDGs, as well as the road forward to reaching these goals by 2030. The UN Global Compact, which plays a vital role in facilitating strategic partnership between the United Nations and the private sector in support of UN values and responsible business, has a host of events planned as well as several significant tools to help the business community engage with the Sustainable Development agenda. Major planned activities for UNGA 2017 include: 

  • CEO Roundtable 18 September, at the United Nations Secretariat Building. By invitation only. Chaired by UN Global Compact CEO & Executive Director Lise Kingo, this inaugural event will include approximately 20 CEOs representing Fortune 500 companies, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as start-up companies offering out-of-the-box thinking. It is an exclusive and intimate high-level forum for business to take stock on progress towards the SDGs. The CEO Roundtable will convene annually to reach consensus on critical priorities, partnership opportunities and commitments to deliver accelerated impact and close the gap as we approach the 2030 due date. Attendees will have an opportunity to engage in a discussion with UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.
  • UN Private Sector Forum 2017 18 September, 13:00 to 15:00, at the United Nations Secretariat Building, Delegates Dining Room. By invitation only. Held annually, the UN Private Sector Forum is a high-level luncheon that brings together CEOs and Heads of State at the United Nations to discuss priority issues such as climate change, global development and human rights. Hosted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, this year’s Forum will focus on financing the 2030 Agenda, including unlocking new forms of financing, facilitating financial innovation, catalyzing responsible business growth and increasing private and public investment in the SDGs.

Key speakers include: H.E. Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation; Al Gore, former US Vice President; Scott Mather, Chief Investment Officer U.S. Core Strategies, PIMCO; Walt Macnee, Vice Chairman, Mastercard; Sunil Mittal, Chairman, ICC and Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Mark Schneider, CEO Nestlé S.A.; Nomsa Daniels, CEO Graça Machel Trust.

  • UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2017 21 September, 09:00 to 17:30, at the New York Hilton Midtown. Visit to request an invitation. The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit brings together an international community of leaders from business, civil society, academia, Government and the United Nations to accelerate business action and partnerships to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Agreement. By raising the ambition level, driving innovation and measuring the impact of responsible business action rooted in the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, we can ensure a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous future for all.

Confirmed speakers include: Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever; Jean Louis Chauss, CEO, Suez; Mark Wilson, CEO, Aviva; Patrick Thomas, CEO, Covestro; Vineet Rai, Founder, Aavishkar Intellecap Group; Tim Mohin, CEO, GRI; Abby Maxman, President and CEO, Oxfam; Saran Kaba Jones, Founder & CEO, FACE Africa; Jean Bennington Sweeney, Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M; and Lorna Davis, Chief Manifesto Catalyst, Danone, among others.

  • Recognition of the 2017 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers 21 September. Registration required and can be accessed through the UN Global Compact website ( Each year, the UN Global Compact celebrates a group of SDG Pioneers — business leaders who are doing an exceptional job of taking action to advance the Global Goals. Rigorous and competitive applicants from diverse regions of the world submitted their portfolios; from these, a final group of 10 have been selected, each exemplifying how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society. The list of 2017 SDG Pioneers can be found here. They will be formally recognized during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2017 on 21 September.

New Research Reports and Tools

During UNGA week, the UN Global Compact and its partners will deliver new tools for the global private sector to implement our Ten Principles and find opportunities to advance the SDGs, including the 2017 UN Global Compact Progress Report. This new research report takes stock of the 9,500 companies participating in the UN Global Compact and their contributions to sustainable development. The Report highlights breakthrough innovations alongside products and services that promise to transform markets for a more sustainable future.  

For more information on business-oriented forums and events during UNGA 2017, explore our Business Guide to UN General Assembly Week 2017 available here. The aim of the guide is to better coordinate business participation during UNGA week and bring private sector stakeholders to the table.

Featuring meetings and events with a business focus or that welcome private sector participation, and spanning all 17 SDGs, the Guide includes over 30 events organized in and around UNGA. Some are organized by United Nations entities, while many others are convened by outside organizations. 

About the United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 70 Local Networks.