For Better Business Together launches in Ghana

ICC, UNDP and UN Global Compact join forces with DHL, Microsoft and PwC to help communities recover better from the pandemic.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have established the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility, a global initiative and collaboration bringing together public and private sector partners to help local communities recover better from the pandemic. Deutsche Post DHL Group, Microsoft Corp. and the PwC network (“PwC”) have already joined the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility and the initiative is open for other like-minded private sector organisations that want to contribute.

The Global Facility is a response to corporate calls to action for private sector leaders and governments to work together to address the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The initiative has been established to better coordinate their responses, helping to ensure that immediate stimulus efforts flow into the real economy.

The Global Facility will operate at both the global and national levels. It aims to co-create solutions that are tailored to the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in a given area and the specificities of the local private sector and government context. Guided by the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Facility will support a multisectoral, whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to face the multidimensional nature of the crisis. Recovery efforts will focus on how to rebuild more inclusive economies and societies, to set a new course for a socially just, low-carbon and climate-resilient world where no one is left behind. Initial projects will focus on the countries of Colombia, Ghana, the Philippines and Turkey. Both the geographical scope and participating partners will expand as the Global Facility develops.

The COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility was announced by Mr Steiner at the SDG Business Forum during the UN General Assembly, the largest and most inclusive UN convening of private sector leaders. Launched under the motto “Recover Better Together”, the timing of this initiative has special importance, marking the commemoration of some important UN-related milestones: the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations; the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Global Compact; and the Centenary of ICC’s founding after WWI at a time when multilateralism is facing the greatest challenge of its generation.

The private sector has been acutely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact affirm the belief that businesses exist to serve and advance their societies, and their success cannot come at the cost of social or environmental regression.

“It is a moment of human tragedy and intense economic and social upheaval. But it is also a moment of possibility. Through partnerships like the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility we will support companies to Recover Better Together from the pandemic and finally confront global inequality by taking action, as well as mitigate the worst impacts of a climate emergency that threatens all of humanity. Together we can construct a new paradigm of resilience,”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced around 70% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to shut down their operations. SMEs represent 50% of global GDP and more than 70% of global employment. The partners of the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility, representing multinational, global and local private sector stakeholders, commit to joint projects to develop policy and financial solutions for pandemic relief.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “ICC’s local networks can bring value to the cooperation by reaching small business owners who want to have their challenges understood, their ideas heard, and their efforts to Recover Better recognised and built upon by others. SMEs need a way to facilitate this vital exchange of ideas, learning and experience with each other and with organisations and institutions in a position to support them.”

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