UNDP, Azerbaijani government hold first public-private sector dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals

Baku, May 15, AZERTAC

Bringing together over 100 representatives of government, businesses and international organizations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Azerbaijan’s National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development (NCCSD) and the Ministry of Economy launched today the first public-private sector dialogue in the country dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With the inception of this inaugural dialogue platform, Azerbaijan sets out a strategic course to engage the country’s vibrant business community in a joint action with the Government to address some of the most pressing challenges of the time, from poverty reduction to gender equality and greener economy, to name a few.

Opening the inaugural event, Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan and Chairperson of the NCCSD Ali Ahmadov noted the crucial importance of building effective partnership frameworks for engaging the private sector in the implementation of the Global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and emphasized that a robust advocacy and awareness raising play a central role in advancing the cooperation between the public and private sectors.

Achieving the SDGs is a unique business case, which presents an incentive for the private sector to invest in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda – the new global blueprint for a sustainable and inclusive growth, with its 17 accompanying Global Goals. The private sector is an indispensable contributor to the SDGs increasing employment opportunities worldwide, bringing innovative solutions to social and environmental problems and financing large-scale infrastructure projects. It is estimated that business is responsible for up to 60 percent of the gross domestic product of most developing countries while also generating 90 percent of jobs and 80 percent of capital inflows.

Speaking at the opening of the public-private sector dialogue on the SDGs today, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Alessandro Fracassetti noted that: “Achieving the SDGs opens up significant market opportunities for business across key sectors of the world economy, including food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being.”

In Azerbaijan, each of these industries has a tremendous potential to transform the lives of the vulnerable and to unleash the capacity of both large, medium-sized and small enterprises to increase their bottom-line while making a social impact like never before. Globally, these four areas of intervention represent around 60 percent of the real economy and are critical to delivering the SDGs.

Fracassetti emphasized the importance of bridging the Government’s commitment to achieving the SDGs with the private sector’s capacity, drive for innovation and capital to accelerate their implementation. He added that “UNDP will continue to facilitate collaborative initiatives between public and private sectors that will help accelerate progress in areas critical to sustainable development in Azerbaijan, such as inclusive growth, renewable energy, enhanced public services delivery, youth and gender”.

The event featured stimulating panel discussions, with insights from private sector representatives about investment and partnership opportunities for the achievement of the SDGs, specifically focusing on inclusive labour markets, innovations, big data and gender equality.

It is anticipated that the first public-private sector dialogue on the SDGs launched today will become a platform for building synergies between the Government and the private sector resulting in the development of Azerbaijan’s first of its kind Roadmap or Action Plan on Public-Private Sector Engagement and Partnership for the SDGs.

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