Belgian companies, NGOs and public sector sign the Belgian SDG Charter
To promote and to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals together. That is the ambition of more than 80 Belgian companies, civil society organisations and representatives of the public sector that are signing the Belgian SDG Charter for International Development, today in Brussels. The Belgian SDG Charter is driven by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, who wants to bridge the gap between international development, the private sector and civil society. The Shift, the Belgian meeting point for sustainability, will manage the process.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were approved last year by the United Nations. They are very ambitious: to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, to protect our planet and to encourage human development. The SDG's explicitly recognise the important role of the private sector in the field of international development for the first time.
Alexander De Croo: "The Belgian SDG Charter wants to increase awareness of the ambitious sustainable development agenda in the Belgian private sector. This is essential, as governments, NGOs and civil society cannot fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals on their own. We need the private sector. Today more than 50 companies are signing the charter, which is an important signal."
The Belgian SDG Charter for International Development outlines the commitment of the Belgian private sector, civil society and the public sector on the basis of the 5 P's of Sustainable Development: People, Planet, Profit, Peace and Partnerships.
"Now is the time to go from words to action. Companies that embrace sustainable development are better companies. And an international development policy without cooperation with the private sector can never be sustainable. Let the signature of this Belgian SDG Charter be the launch of a fruitful cooperation, " said Alexander De Croo.
Collaboration around five core themes
The Belgian SDG Charter is further opened to wider signature starting today ( click here for a list of the current signatories (PDF, 875.01 KB)). Concrete initiatives will be established between government, private sector and civil society organizations on the basis of the Belgian SDG Charter in the following months and years, focusing on five specific themes: (1) health, (2) renewable energy, (3) digitalisation, (4) agriculture and nutrition and (5) sustainable enterprise.
The aim is that Belgian companies, development actors from the civil society and the public sector ultimately mutually reinforce one another in favour of sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development in our country but also in partner countries of the Belgian development policy. The Belgian sustainability network “The Shift” will manage the entire process.
Praise from the World Bank
The new Belgian SDG Charter is supported by more than 80 Belgian companies, civil society partners and the public sector, as well as by World Bank President Jim Kim, who praised the Belgian initiative in a video message. "We must promote inclusive economic growth, and invest more in people. Partnerships such as the Belgian SDG Charter play an important role in bringing everyone in our society together around a common goal. It ensures that our plans and ambitions will be fulfilled. I thank you for the commitment."
Bridging the gap between international development and the private sector is one of the focuses of Minister De Croo. Earlier this year capital from BIO (Belgian Investment Company for Developing countries) has already been opened to private investors who are looking for efficiency and also attach importance to the social and environmental impacts of their investments. Our country supports the private sector in the Belgian partner countries through BIO.
Minister De Croo also awards the 2016 Trophy of Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs today, during an evening that focuses on partnerships and the power of collaboration. The 2016 Trophy is the ultimate reward for an entrepreneur from the North that promotes entrepreneurship in the South in a sustainable way.
Click here (PDF, 151.72 KB)to read the Belgian SDG Charter.