SDG 16 Business Framework

Inspiring Transformational Governance

Sustainable Development Goal 16: promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

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SDG 16 Business Framework
Inspiring Transformational Governance

Foreword | SDG 16 Business Framework

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world and will leave a devastating and indelible mark on our lives and livelihoods for years to come. It will serve as a cautionary tale of the need for us to work together to build greater resilience in addressing global crises.

Since the creation of the United Nations more than 75 years ago, there has never been a more critical time for global leaders to share in the responsibility to address shared challenges. Climate change, systemic inequalities, diminishing respect for human rights and the rule of law, unstable economies and weakened institutions challenge our resolve — and will continue to do so with greater frequency and ferocity if we fail to take urgent action.

While much of this responsibility rests with Member States, the private sector has a key role to play and I am encouraged by the number of business leaders who have called for renewed global cooperation and acknowledged that they can do their part. Peace, justice and strong institutions — the focus of Sustainable Development Goal 16 — are the foundation for Governments, civil society and businesses to work together to promote inclusive societies, provide access to justice for all, fight corruption, strengthen social cohesion and build resilience in the face of economic and environmental shocks.

The SDG 16 Business Framework aims to inspire businesses to embrace their role in transformational governance, which includes fortifying multilateralism and reimagining the social contract. Only then can we build back better, deliver on the 2030 Agenda and leave no-one behind.

António Guterres

Secretary-General of the United Nations

The SDG 16 Business Framework aims to inspire businesses to embrace their role in transformational governance, which includes fortifying multilateralism and reimagining the social contract.
António Guterres

Secretary-General of the United Nations

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SDG 16 Business Framework
Inspiring Transformational Governance

Foreword | SDG 16 Business Framework

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact

A renewed vision for global cooperation requires greater inclusivity and participation of all actors in building a better world. We need courageous and ethical leadership at a time when citizens are calling — and increasingly protesting — for greater accountability, integrity and transparency in the institutions that govern their lives and livelihoods. 

Businesses can and must play an important role in promoting ethical leadership and building trust between public and private institutions, and trust in these institutions by civil society. Peace, justice and strong institutions are fundamental conditions that are not only essential to the viability of businesses but also in bringing businesses together, with Government and civil society, in addressing the world's greatest challenges. 

Transformational governance is a principles-based philosophy rather than a new legal concept which invites businesses to expand their view of the “G” in ESG. It calls for businesses to provide greater accountability, integrity and transparency as a driver to responsible business conduct, enhanced ESG performance and strengthened public institutions, laws and systems —  to create more peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

This vision of transformational governance is bold but necessary. It presents a challenge to all stakeholders to see governance through the prism of SDG 16 as a catalyst for systemic change. This is the beginning of an important journey and the UN Global Compact is delighted to release this Framework to guide business along the way. Please join us in uniting business for a better world. 

Sanda Ojiambo

CEO & Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact

Businesses can and must play an important role in promoting ethical leadership and building trust between public and private institutions, and trust in these institutions by civil society.
Sanda Ojiambo

CEO & Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact

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Getting Started

Introduction

Setting the stage for the SDG 16 Business Framework

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Purpose of the Framework

Read more about the purpose and origins of the SDG16 Business Framework

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SDG 16 Targets