UN calls for greater transparency, accountability from Indonesian businesses at B20 Summit

At the B20 Summit, the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), an initiative advocating for companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, called for businesses in Indonesia to adopt greater accountability, transparency and integrity in their operations as the world continues to grapple with inflation, rising income inequality, the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis. 

This unprecedented set of global crises is steadily eroding the last decade of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During her keynote address, assistant secretary-general and CEO of the UN Global Impact, Sanda Ojiambo, called for businesses to integrate the tenth principle of the UN Global Compact against corruption and Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions throughout their operations.

Ojiambo said: “For the second year in a row, the world is no longer making progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. Private sector leadership is vital to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We cannot tackle these global challenges alone. Business and government must work together. They must ensure they are transparent and accountable in their operations so they can accelerate the transformational change the world needs.” 

Ojiambo expressed her hope that the B20 will produce strategic decisions and agreements that could be implemented by all stakeholders to accelerate responsible business governance.

Speaking about the work of the UN Global Compact in Indonesia, Y.W. Junardy, president of the Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN) said: “We hold a mission to mainstream the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact, which must be carried out through a multi-stakeholder collaboration to support the achievement of the SDG targets in Indonesia, as proclaimed in the Presidential Decree No. 111/2022.”

Junardy added that in its implementation, IGCN is advocating Five Thematic Focuses in accordance with SDGs: Business for Peace; Women’s Empowerment for Better Job Opportunities; Better Living Environment; Business Ethics & Governance; and Education/Teaching Transformation.

IGCN also held a CEO Roundtable supported by Sinar Mas, one of the largest conglomerates in Indonesia. Franky Oesman Widjaja, board member, noted that Sinar Mas is committed to mainstreaming the principles of the UN Global Compact into its Environment, Social, and Governance corporate strategies (ESG).

Widjaja said: “The implementation of SDGs throughout all business units is fundamental to our business strategy. This vision becomes the guide for us to achieve the company’s ESG objectives more broadly and for a long term. As a company, we want to prove that the balance between business profits, environmental sustainability, good corporate governance, and social community building could contribute to achieving global development goals and bring our company to a higher level.” 

The UN Global Compact’s work also focuses on the sustainability of marine and oceanic resources to achieve equitable, inclusive, and sustainable human growth and welfare, which is in line with the launch of the National Blue Agenda Actions Partnership (NBAAP) resulting from cooperation between the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs with the UN in Indonesia.

Photo credit: Indonesia Global Compact Network Photo. Sanda Ojiambo, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) and CEO of the UN Global Compact, November 13, opening session of the THK Forum. 

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