With the adoption of the SDGs, we have seen a sea-change in the way the world thinks about and approaches its work in global development.

The SDGs are as bold as they are ambitious, with early estimates suggesting that investments of between US$5-7 trillion a year will be needed to make the progress that is required. And while these resources will partly come from new approaches to official development assistance (ODA) from capitals around the world, the private sector is also a critical actor in helping to achieve the Goals. We are already seeing business leaders embrace sustainability in real, transformational ways like never before – in part because the economic arguments for these investments are compelling and in part because societal expectations about the role of business are shifting.

The UN, too, firmly believes that the private sector must have a place at the table. With over 9,000 companies signed up to the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact, efforts by the Secretary-General and other UN leaders to convene stakeholders around the importance of mobilising private capital for the SDGs, and an increased focus on implementing public-private partnerships in-country, the UN is demonstrating every day that business is a key partner in meeting our deadline for the SDGs.

The UN Foundation is similarly taking action. For 20 years, we have worked to connect people, ideas, and resources to the UN. Our work is guided by a belief in the power of partnerships and an understanding that transformative change requires transformative approaches to problem-solving. The WBA is a critical tool needed for changing the way we work with business, measure impact on the SDGs and ensure that no one is left behind on the road to 2030. This is big idea that will require high ambition and new ways of collaborating for collective impact to see the results we’re aiming for.

Kaysie Brown

UN Foundation Special Advisor & Head of Policy Planning
WBA Co-founder and member of the Steering Committee for the WBA Consultation