The Urban Private Sector Working Group
During the Fourth Session of the World Urban Forum held in Nanjing in November 2008, in a special session, Private Sector representatives decided to organize two working groups based on the themes of Urban Governance and Bottom of the Pyramid Approaches for Urban Sustainability.
At the fifth session of the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro on 25 March 2010, the two groups resumed their work and presented their recommendations during the Business Roundtable. They decided to merge the two working groups into one single working group, the Urban Private Sector Working Group that will focus on the finalization and approval of the Core Business Principles for Sustainable Urbanization in a one-year road map up to the 23rd UN-HABITAT Governing Council in April 2011.
Objectives of the Urban Private Sector Working Group are to:
- Finalize the Core Business Principles for Sustainable Urbanization, a charter that Private Sector partners will commit to in order to address the urbanization challenges;
- Build a network of urban development Private Sector representatives committed in the UN Business Principles for Sustainable Urbanization and that can have an advisory role to UN-HABITAT.
Expected outputs from the Urban Private Sector working Group are:
- A set of Core Business Principles for Sustainable Urbanization, to be presented at the Private Sector strategic meeting to be held during the 23rd Session of UN-HABITAT Governing Council (April 2011);
- Detailed Business Principles illustrated by case studies in selected focus areas proposed by members;
- An advisory network of Private Sector members committed to sustainable urbanization as part of their core business goals and/or activities.
Through this Working Group, UN-HABITAT invites the private sector to join the policy debate on sustainable urbanization.
Indeed, the Fifth Session of the World Urban Forum has reminded us that, beyond the global overwhelming developmental challenges and a growing realization of the consequences of climate change, the world is undergoing an irreversible process of rapid urbanization. Failure to accommodate this megatrend has resulted in unsustainable forms of production and consumption, poverty, social exclusion and pollution. While cities are part of the problem, they are also primary victims and they must be part of any solutions. Such solutions will require placing cities at the centre of strategies for change. They will also require new ways of thinking, new levels of understanding between stakeholders, and new partnerships.
In the spirit of the United Nations Global Compact and its ten principles related to human rights, labour, environment, and corruption, the business principles for sustainable urbanization shall concretize the urban dimension of private sectors actions. This process will mark a new commitment from the business community, as an essential partner for sustainable urbanization.
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