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A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM AMINA J MOHAMMED

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations comes at a time of great disruption for the world, revealing the fragility of our systems across borders, sectors and generations and the critical importance of effective international cooperation.

With Covid-19, we face a global health, humanitarian and development emergency with no parallel in the UN’s history. Millions of lives and livelihoods and decades of development progress are under threat.

In these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to reflect on the integral role of business in countries and communities around the world in addressing our common challenges.

As we kickstart the Decade of Action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, we need all companies to further integrate sustainability into their business models, and raise ambition across operations, supply chains, investments and public policies.

For 20 years, the United Nations has engaged with the global business community through the UN Global Compact — mobilising companies everywhere to uphold ten universal principles on human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption.

Evidence shows that companies delivering total value for people, planet and shareholders significantly outperform their peers and deliver higher margins. If we are to create the world we want, we will need a movement across all aspects of society and the economy— a critical mass of governments, businesses and the general public everywhere all pushing in the same direction for peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.

The private sector can make a decisive contribution to this transformation. It is still possible to achieve the SDGs by 2030— eradicating poverty, reducing global inequalities, empowering young people and women everywhere, and shifting the world onto a 1.5ÅãC trajectory.

Now is the time for companies to step up, to get behind the UN 2030 Agenda and steer our world onto a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive path.

Amina J Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations