Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Core business values to help reduce poverty, target MDGs

MANILA, Philippines — Core values and business principles of a United Nations-led global initiative could help reduce poverty in the country and contribute to meeting the targets of the Millennium Development Goals, an official of the Philippine Business for Social Progress said Monday.

Rafael Cojuangco Lopa, PBSP executive director, said the delivery of basic services to the countryside with the able participation of the business community can help fulfill the government’s public role of achieving its MDG targets and the corporate sector’s commitment to the UN Global Compact Initiative in the Philippines.

PBSP is the national secretariat of both the GC Initiative and the MDGs.

Lopa said the MDGs are time-bound quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty adopted by at least 189 UN member-states as their official declaration at the onset of the millennium in 2000, with the end in sight of meeting the goals by the year 2015.

Meanwhile, the GC Initiative is basically comprised of 10 universal principles on human rights, labor standards, and the environment that erstwhile UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan advocated to world business leaders to embrace and enact during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 1999.

“PBSP is committed to leading the private sector to contribute to the achievement of the MDGS by adopting the Global Compact principles as part of their corporate citizenship practices,” Lopa said on the eve of a forum of Philippine MDG stakeholders and partners scheduled today (Wednesday, 8 September) at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City.

The Stakeholders’ Step-Up Campaign Forum on the MDGs is expected to be attended by about 750 leaders of national and local governments, congress, business and civil society, academe, international development partners, and members of the diplomatic community.

Slated to present the Global MDGs Report 2010 is Dr. Jacqueline Badcock, UN resident coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative to the Philippines, with President Noynoy Aquino as keynote speaker.

Also in attendance will be Social Welfare Sec. Dinky Soliman and Education Sec. Armin Luistro, with Socio-Economic Planning Sec. Cayetano Paderanga to present the Philippines 4th Progress Report on the MDGs as Director General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

Paderanga earlier said the MDGs are a set of development goals and targets for 2015 that the government has committed itself during the 2000 Millennium Summit to eradicate poverty and hunger, promote access to education, reduce child and maternal mortality rates, halt the spread of HIV/AIDS as well as malaria and other infectious diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and promote a global partnership for development.

Capturing the country’s progress towards achieving the MDGs, the 1st, 2nd, and mid-term progress reports on the millennium goals were published in 2003, 2005, and 2007, respectively. The stakeholders’ forum at Dusit Thani will serve as the venue for the launching of the 4th progress report.

With the support of UNDP, the government’s 4th report aims to provide an assessment of the MDGs progress in the country from 1990-2009 as well as recommendations critical for the nation to reach these goals by 2015. The 4th report will be submitted to the UN General Assembly which is expected to convene at the UN headquarters in New York on September 20-22. (Mitch Confesor)

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