UN formally adopts targets around sustainable procurement and cutting corruption

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
28 September 2015

The United Nations' general assembly has formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes targets to promote sustainability in the private sector and public procurement.

The agenda is made up of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets to “wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years”.

The goals, which replace the Millennium Development Goals, cover headings including industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities and responsible consumption and production.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, speaking after the general assembly agreed the goals on Friday, said: “These goals are a blueprint for a better future. Now we must use the goals to transform the world. We will do that through partnership and through commitment. We must leave no-one behind.”

The goals include targets to “encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle”, and to “promote public procurement practices that are sustainable”.

The UN said bribery, corruption, theft and tax evasion cost developing countries $1.26 trillion (£830 billion) a year and it has set a target to “substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms”.

There are also targets around taking measures to end modern slavery and human trafficking and “by 2025 end child labour in all its forms”.

The UN also wants to halve per capita global food waste by 2030 “at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains”.

In terms of SMEs, there is a target to “increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets”.

Prime minister David Cameron, in a speech to the UN’s Sustainable Development Summit in New York on Sunday, said: “Achieving these goals will take action, not words.

“We need a new global partnership, to ensure that all our policies – on things like tax, trade and transparency – really help to deliver progress for the poorest.”

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