Global Goals Week: the Synergy between SDGs and UNGPs

21-09-2020

 

Although the COVID-19 outbreak led to the cancellation of numerous celebrations this year, there are recurrences that do not succumb: the Global Goals Week (GGW) is one of them.

The GGW is an initiative taking place between 18 and 26 September this year, with the aim of celebrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely the set of 17 goals that the Member States of the United Nations committed to achieve for a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. This year we celebrate the fifth anniversary of their introduction.

International organisations such as the OECD highlight that businesses have the ability to contribute to the SDGs through responsible business conduct and, more specifically, through the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs).

The UNGPs also aim at promoting sustainable development and complement the Goals by advancing the discourse on how companies can reduce risks to human rights along global supply chains. The Principles notably stress that businesses have the duty to respect human rights globally, and that one of the main tools for this purpose is Human Rights Due Diligence.

Human Rights Due Diligence

amfori published the Position Paper on Human Rights Due Diligence, which highlighted that the EU is best placed to work on a robust, coherent and predictable human rights due diligence framework for businesses operating in the EU.

The implementation of a proper HRDD system by companies represents an important contribution to the collaborative effort aimed at tackling certain systemic challenges, including child labour, forced labour, discrimination and harassment and extreme poverty.

A thorough due diligence mechanism helps the attainment of nine SDGs, including Goal number 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequality), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

The UNGP survey

With the approach of 2021, which marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Guiding Principles, the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights is looking into ways to foster its implementation and adapt it to the operational challenges companies have encountered. amfori decided to support this initiative by launching the UNGP Engagement Survey to collect feedback from our members, analyse it and share with the UN Working Group.

More information about this will follow in the coming weeks.

Related reading

Human Rights Due Diligence: The Landscape and amfori’s Recommendations for EU Institutions

Human Rights and COVID-19: UNDP’s Rapid Self-Assessment