Advocating for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieving them - together. That is the ambition of the more than 80 companies, civil society organisations and representatives of the public sector that signed the Belgian SDG Charter for International Development in Brussels on October 18. The charter was an initiative of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo. The Shift helped draft the charter and is currently taking care of the ongoing process.
The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, were approved by the United Nations last year and are exceptionally ambitious, aiming to ban extreme poverty, protect our planet and stimulate human development by 2030. For the first time, the important role of the private sector in international development is explicitly recognised in the SDGs.
“The Belgian SDG Charter is intended to increase awareness of the ambitious SDG agenda within the private sector in Belgium. The fact that, today, more than 50 companies have already signed the charter is an important signal.” Alexander De Croo
The Belgian SDG Charter for International Development outlines the engagement of the private sector, civil society and the public sector in Belgium based on the 5 Ps of the SDGs: People, Planet, Profit, Peace and Partnerships. The charter is to be opened up to more signatories (click here for the signatories at the end of October). In the months and years to come, concrete initiatives will be set up, based on the charter, between the authorities, the private sector and civil society organisations. The focus will be on five specific areas: (1) health, (2) renewable energy, (3) digitisation, (4) agriculture and food, and (5) sustainable entrepreneurship.
Now The Shift will help signatories of the charter - Belgian companies, actors from civil society and the public sector - to strengthen each other. This should contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development, in our own country as well as in the countries that are partners of the Belgian development policy. Would you like to participate? Then please contact Lara Piret!
Praise from the World Bank and the United Nations
The new Belgian SDG Charter has received support from over 80 Belgian companies, partners from civil society and the public sector. In addition, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Unilever CEO Paul Polman have also praised the Belgian initiative. See video messages from the last two below: