The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, has called on the private sector and the business community to actively participate in mobilising investment in order to meet the SDGs.
She said while domestic resource mobilisation and tax reforms would be essential, there was also the need for the development of innovative financing and in mobilising private investment.
She said the UN was aware that without the private sector and the business community, the SDGs would never be achieved.
Ms Lopez was speaking at a meeting with some company executives, who are members of the UN Global Compact Network Ghana.
Globally, investments of between 5 to 7 trillion dollars are needed each year to implement the Goals and meet the 2030 Agenda.
However, the financing gap is overwhelming with the UN estimating that the shortfall in financing amounts to 2.5 trillion USD per year in developing countries alone.
Ms Lopez-Ekra said huge investments in basic infrastructure, food security, climate change, mitigation and adaptation, health, and education were needed for the future of societies.
While public financing remains critical, private sources of investment will be essential to meet the scale of investment required.
“Making progress will also require a significant shift in our mindsets. We need to be ambitious and look beyond filling the SDG investment gap to seeing the SDGs as an investment opportunity,” she said.
“Making that mental shift will totally change the way we do business and drive that critical change in the business models that we operate with. Sustainable business and sustainable development are increasingly interlinked. Why simply do business when you can do business that generates social and environmental impact as well as financial returns?” she added.
Ms Lopez-Ekra expressed the hope that the Global Compact Network in Ghana would champion the important role that businesses have in advancing good governance, human rights, labour rights environmental considerations and anti-corruption.
“We know that more work remains to be done to strengthen the enabling environment for sustainable investments but let us all be part of the solution,” she said.
Mr Tolu Kweku Lacroix, Programme Coordinator, UN Global Compact Network Ghana, said the event was meant to reach out to active members, who have been part of the Compact, but were basically on their own for the past four years to assure them that the Global Compact had returned.
Ms Nkiruka Chiemelu, Senior Manager, Global Operations and Africa Networks UN Global Compact said the mission is to create global movement for responsible and sustainable businesses to make positive contribution to the world.
She said at the core of these was a learning and training platform for businesses, businesses of all sizes in different countries to come together and to share and engage to learn with various stakeholders, including civil society groups, and governments.