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Unilever, UNGC and UNDP Convene 2nd Annual Private-Public Partnership Forum

Engage stakeholders to achieve Sri Lanka’s Sustainable Development Goals

Sri Lanka conference
The keynote speakers at the event From left - Mr. Udaya Seneviratne, Secretary to H.E. the President of Sri Lanka; Mr. Carl Cruz, Chairman, Unilever Sri Lanka; and Mr. Jorn Sorensen, Country Director, UNDP Sri Lanka

Unilever Sri Lanka together with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Sri Lanka and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) convened the 2nd Annual Private-Public Partnership (PPP) Forum in Colombo, recently. The forum was held under the auspices of the Secretary to H.E. the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Udaya Seneviratne.

As a direct result of last year’s forum, a policy paper for the promotion of PPP for sustainable development was produced and handed over to Mr. Udaya Seneviratne. Building on those achievements, this year the forum once again brought together C-suite executives from both the public and private sector, stakeholders from academia, media and non-government development agencies to encourage more collaborative and collective action towards the 2030 Development Agenda.

Mr. Carl Cruz, Chairman, Unilever Sri Lanka delivered the first keynote address of the evening. He provided the audience an update on Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, the company’s blueprint for sustainable equitable business which is in its seventh year, and stressed the need for collective action to foster sustainable development. He also spoke about how the company places sustainability at the core of its business model and works by following the simple philosophy of ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’.

Mr. Jorn Sorensen, Country Director, UNDP Sri Lanka, addressed the importance of PPPs in achieving the SDGs for Sri Lanka. Whilst stressing UNDP’s commitment towards sustainable development, he encouraged those gathered to partner with UNDP to support Sri Lanka in addressing a few areas of national development priority.

Mr. Udaya Seneviratne, Secretary to H.E. the President of Sri Lanka, delivered the final keynote address of the day And commended those in attendance for taking up this cause and reiterated the need for mutually beneficial partnerships to address key country needs.

The key notes were followed by a partnership discussion on four areas which were identified by the Presidential Secretariat and UNDP. These areas are namely the conservation of threatened species and sustainable tourism; water management; community empowerment; and chronic kidney disease prevention.

Projects in these specific areas are currently ongoing and the result of the discussions will help the UNDP and Presidential Secretariat identify suitable partners to help drive them further. Ultimately, this will help the projects scale for impact and widen the footprint of PPPs thereby steering the country towards a sustainable future.

About Unilever

Unilever Sri Lanka is one of the biggest FMCG companies in Sri Lanka, with 29 market leading brands in categories such as Home Care, Personal Care and Foods. Established in Sri Lanka in 1938 with brands such as Sunlight, Lux and Pears. Unilever’s corporate purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple the company’s growth from environmental impact, while increasing its positive social impact. The Plan has three big goals that by 2020 will help improve people’s health and well-being, reduce the company’s environmental footprint, and enhance livelihoods across its value chain. For more information about Unilever, please visit www.unilever.com.lk.

About United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)

UN Global Compact (UNGC) is the World’s largest corporate citizenship initiative; this movement currently holds over 9,500 signatory companies from 162 countries, all working towards aligning strategies and operations with the core values of sustainable development, and taking actions that advance societal goals. These signatories are guided by Ten Principles of the UNGC which are universal ideologies on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The vision of UNGC is to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want. To make this happen, the UNGC supports companies to:

  • Do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with the Ten Principles; and
  • Take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation.

Global Compact Local Networks advance the initiative and it’s Ten Principles at the country level: Global Compact Network Sri Lanka was launched in 2011 and includes participation of all key corporates in the country. Local Networks help companies understand what responsible business means within different contexts and facilitate learning, policy dialogue, collective action and partnerships. Through the local networks, companies can make connections with other businesses and stakeholders and receive guidance to put their sustainability commitments into action. Local Networks are independent, self-managed entities, and act as a point of contact for UN Global Compact signatories in a country.

About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. www.lk.undp.org

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