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Third UN Private Sector Forum - 22 September 2010, New York


Held amid the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit on 22 September 2010 in New York, this event will convene Heads of State and Government, Chief Executive Officers, Civil Society Leaders and Heads of UN Agencies to identify effective ways and means to accelerate progress towards reaching the MDGs by 2015 and to generate action towards this target.

Chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Private Sector Forum will convene approximately 300 Heads of State and Government, Chief Executive Officers, Civil Society Leaders and Heads of UN Agencies during the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


The 2010 UN Private Sector Forum aims to:

identify effective ways and means to accelerate progress towards reaching the MDGs by 2015 and to stimulate action towards this target; identify concrete actions the private sector can take (individually and in collaboration with the public sector) to help close implementation gaps over the next five years; provide a platform for the business community to share actions they have taken towards the achievement of the MDGs, communicate recommendations to governments and announce new partnerships between business and the UN in support of the MDGs; and highlight ways in which governments can facilitate further business engagement for development.

Key messages expected to emerge from the 2010 UN Private Sector Forum include the following:

While some notable progress has been made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, success remains very uneven. Bridging the gaps that still exist within the remaining five years will require a concerted effort by all, including the private sector as the most critical driver of innovation, investment and job creation. Companies everywhere must conduct business in a responsible manner that is aligned with fundamental environmental and social values. In addition, the private sector is called upon to think of new and creative ways to capitalize on innovations, products and services to benefit the poor. Increasingly, the private sector is recognizing that working with and investing in pro-poor business models can bring about thriving markets. Companies around the world have introduced numerous profitable innovations to provide poor communities with access to health care, clean water, sanitation, communication technology or financial services. Likewise, new public–private partnerships and initiatives seek to improve access to education, empower women and eliminate gender inequalities. If the global community is to stand a chance of achieving all MDGs by 2015, the time has come to bring these many promising innovations, initiatives and partnerships to scale. This will require a retooling of standard business models and the willingness to make significant and long-term investments. If market-based solutions are to be brought to effective scale, government support will be of critical importance to establish a sound enabling environment, including regulatory frameworks that uphold property rights, accelerate entry to the formal economy and root out corruption; capacity building and access to finance, in particular for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); securing the necessary investments into core infrastructure, such as roads, energy systems, telecommunications and ports; and promoting a fair, competitive and non-discriminatory global market. Over the years, the United Nations has vastly improved its capacity to engage and partner with the private sector. UN agencies, funds and programmes now offer a vast number of targeted partnership opportunities for business to leverage its relative strengths, resources and competencies in support of achieving the MDGs. Format

The Forum seeks to maximize interaction between participants. All attendees will be seated at tables of 10 leaders from business, civil society, government and the UN. Following the opening address by the Secretary-General, remarks by the two government sponsors of the event, and the luncheon keynote, participants will engage in thematic discussions on one of the following areas: (i) poverty and hunger; (ii) maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS; (iii) access to education through innovative ICT; (iv) innovations for financial inclusion; (v) empowering women and achieving equality; and (vi) green economy.

All of the Forum’s discussion sessions will be held under Chatham House Rule. This means that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker, nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.


During the thematic discussions, participants will explore how to advance business solutions on the following themes (click here to learn more about existing opportunities to contribute to these issues):

1. Poverty and Hunger
We have within our reach the capability to end world hunger, increase food security, and improve agricultural productivity in developing countries. The private sector has an important role to play in leveraging its ingenuity, drive and efficiency to make abundant, safe and nutritious food accessible to all. This discussion will focus on how the public and private sectors can collaborate to find solutions to reduce hunger and poverty.
Lead UN Agencies: WFP, FAO, IFAD

2. Maternal & Child Health & HIV/AIDS
Numerous private sector interventions and initiatives in the area of health focus specifically on how supply chain management, commodities, communication tools and financial resources are successfully improving maternal and child health and delivering results against HIV/AIDS. This discussion will examine the challenges, incentives and key success factors of these partnerships, and how they can be replicated and brought to scale to achieve the health-focused MDGs.

3. Access to Education through Innovative ICT
With 72 million children not in school and learning achievements below par in many countries, innovative information and communication technologies (ICT) offer new approaches to reaching girls and boys who are excluded and/or subject to multiple deprivations. This discussion will focus on how the private sector can contribute to enhancing the relevance, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality of teaching and learning activities.
Leading agency: UNICEF, UNESCO

4. Innovations for Financial Inclusion
Financial inclusion and innovation in financial products play an essential role in reaching the MDGs, helping to generate additional resources, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of development spending, and creating access to finance and basic services in health and education. This discussion will examine how governments, business, and multilateral institutions can work together to help the poor to build assets, increase incomes and reduce their vulnerability to economic stress and how stronger partnerships can exploit the potential of financial markets and reduce market uncertainties for the private sector.
Leading agencies: World Bank, IFC

5. Empowering Women and Achieving Equality
All stakeholders must work together to ensure the inclusion of women’s talents, skills, experiences and energies to build strong economies, establish more stable societies and achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability and human rights. This discussion will center on policies, actions and tools to bolster the business contribution to promoting gender equality and empowering women.
Leading agencies: UNIFEM, UNDP, UNOP with the Global Compact Office

6. Green Economy
As a dynamic driver of the transition to a green economy, the private sector plays a critical role in linking economic and social development through sound environmental management and the investment in and application of emerging technologies. This discussion will focus on exploring opportunities for all stakeholders to collaborate in a way that meets global energy and resource needs and spurs sustainable growth while safeguarding the environment and addressing climate change.
Leading agencies: ILO, UN DESA, UNEP, UNF with the Global Compact Office

Carbon-Neutral Forum

The 2010 UN Private Sector Forum aims to be a carbon-neutral event. The UN will offset emissions related to activities taking place on UN grounds. To do your part, please purchase carbon credits to offset your travel to attend the Forum. Carbon credits should be Gold Standard Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), and we recommend that you use one of these online CER retailers: atmosfair, myclimate. These CER retailers offer 100% Gold Standard certification and 100% Clean Development Mechanism projects.

Corporate Commitments to Advance Progress on the MDGs

All executives are encouraged to use the 2010 UN Private Sector Forum to make new commitments to advance progress on the MDGs. Concrete collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential if we are to achieve the MDGs by 2015. Businesses interested in collaborating with the United Nations can view partnership opportunities or suggest new ideas for collaboration at business.un.org. We would like to encourage you to review the UN–business initiatives listed there to learn more about how your company can get involved. We would like to encourage you to review the UN-business initiatives listed there to learn more about how your company can get involved. A number of initiatives that complement the UN Private Sector Forum themes have been identified, they can be viewed here

We will share widely any corporate commitments made in conjunction with the Forum. A summary of these commitments will be circulated to Heads of State and Government as well as to the press. If you plan to use the UN Private Sector Forum as a platform to make a new commitment to help accelerate progress towards reaching the MDGs by 2015, please send a brief summary (150 words maximum) to Mr. Sean Cruse (cruse@un.org; +1-917-367-8006) by 8 September.

Examples of Corporate Commitments
Company XYZ commits to developing training for farmers in Kenya on cultivation of key grains for their food products. Our company will provide seeds, pesticides and training on proper usage to local farmers. The objective will be to improve the crop value chain and secure a long-term reliable source of locally-grown grains. We anticipate that this will also trigger sustainable economic activity in these communities.

UVW plc will donate 5 percent of 2010 profits to the UN Foundation to specifically support projects that address HIV/AIDS and malaria reduction. As a pharmaceutical company, we also commit to donating needed medicine to afflicted communities in Africa and Asia. We would like to work with UNAIDS to assure that our medicine gets to the communities and people that need it.

RST GmbH & Co. will join Addressing Sexual Violence Against Girls by partnering with UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNIFEM and WHO. The project’s objectives — to create a sustainable movement to identify and address the rights injustices and health impacts of sexual violence against girls in developing countries — are important to our company. We plan to use our resources to develop advocacy support and communication campaigns as well as mobilize our financial and technical expertise in support of the programme.


As was the case in previous years, strong media interest in the UN Private Sector Forum is expected. The plenary segments of the Forum will be open to a limited number of UN-accredited journalists and a live video feed and webcast of all plenary speeches will be provided by UNTV. The press will not be present during thematic discussions. Due to security precautions, there will not be any media interaction in the room. The Global Compact Office has secured nearby space for bilateral interviews during specific time windows and can support their facilitation. For further details and to indicate availability for interviews, please contact Global Compact Spokesperson Mr. Matthias Stausberg (stausberg@un.org; +1-917-367-3423).

About the UN Leadership Forum

As a result of the success of the 2008 UN Private Sector Forum on the Millennium Development Goals and Food Sustainability, the Secretary-General has decided to hold the Forum on an annual basis during the General Assembly debate so the voice of the private sector can contribute to inter-governmental negotiations. The 2010 Forum is organized by the UN Global Compact Office in collaboration with an unprecedented number of UN agencies, funds and programmes: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Labour Organization (ILO), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Foundation (UNF), United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Bank, and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The Forum is by invitation only.