Busan Forum Addresses Public-Private Cooperation for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth

(Busan) – A Private Sector Forum on Public-Private Cooperation for Broad-Based, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth took place in Busan, Republic of Korea today.

The event, held on the occasion of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, was jointly organized by the Government of the Republic of Korea, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Global Compact, and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, with further support from the Global Compact Korea Network and the Korean Federation of Industries.

The Forum brought together over 200 business leaders, civil society representatives and government officials in an effort to integrate private-sector perspectives into the dialogue on effective development cooperation, and to identify ways of engaging the private sector more effectively in future development cooperation activities.

The Private Sector Forum was opened by Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea; Huh Chang-Soo, Chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries; and Lee Seung-han, President of the Global Compact Korea Network. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria delivered keynote speeches during the high-level plenary session.

”There is a widespread consensus that the private sector has a critical role to play in helping to secure global well-being,” Secretary-General Ban said in his remarks. “Business is a primary driver of jobs and innovation. The world will achieve sustainable development only if sufficient private investment enables broad-based growth.”

The Secretary-General also called on the private sector to embrace the UN Global Compact. “Let us remember: growth, investment, and business activity must also be sustainable and responsible, and uphold the highest standards of business ethics. These are the principles embodied in the United Nations Global Compact. More than 6,000 companies in 140 countries are engaged in this initiative, and they recognize that business must look beyond short-term financial gains to deliver long-term value.

Other speakers discussed specific challenges faced by the private sector when participating in partnership projects in support of development cooperation agendas, such as policy incentives and systematic integration of the private sector throughout the process. Participants discussed how business associations and collective action platforms could further support public-private partnerships in support of development priorities.

In addition to the Private Sector Forum, a side event titled “Partnerships for Inclusive Business” was organized by the UN Global Compact, together with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Bertelsmann Foundation, the International Business Leaders Forum, the Partnerships Resource Center and UNDP. Approximately 100 participants engaged in discussions on how to inspire, promote and support inclusive business partnerships that generate genuine, systematic impacts on poverty reduction. The side event was opened by Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, German State Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with closing remarks delivered by Ben Kanpen, Dutch Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation.

Media Contact

Matthias Stausberg
UN Global Compact