The United Nations Economic and Social Council Partnership Forum 2023 was held at the UN Headquarters in New York on Jan. 31. During the forum, the UN Global Compact China Liaison Office, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, and Yicai Media Group jointly hosted a virtual side event to promote the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The side event was themed Sustainable Development Goals-Driven Business Solutions Across Sectors to Combat Ocean Plastic Crises. Guests shared the practical actions of UN agencies, cross-sector companies, and non-governmental organizations through partnerships and innovative platforms guided by the concept of circular economy and full value chain.
The world produces an average of over 300 million tons of plastic a year, 200 times more than in 1950, Sanda Ojiambo, the Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director and CEO of UNGlobal Compact, said in the opening speech. Over half of the plastic ends up as garbage, and at least 14 million tons of plastic go into the ocean every year, accounting for 80 percent of all ocean garbage, she added, noting that the ocean is not an inexhaustible resource.
It is noteworthy that the UN Global Compact China Liaison Office launched the Combat Ocean Plastic Crisis, Accelerated Net-zero Transition pilot project in late 2022. Based on the circular economy and rooted in the UN Global Compact's sustainable ocean principles, the project provides a platform for multi-stakeholder partnerships and encourages innovation to scale SDG-driven, market accepted business solutions.
Last year, the UN Environment Assembly passed a resolution to end plastic pollution by 2024 and a legally binding international treaty, Sanda Ojiambo said. The business community must take responsibility for plastic waste management and join the cause of developing a circular economy and protecting oceans, she pointed out.
“We believe that, unlike previous eras, business development must not only continuously establish its specialty but also face the overall changes brought by the economy, society, environment, and technology,” said Yicai’s Chief Executive Officer Chen Sijie. As an advocate of sustainable development, Yicai is working to lead more news outlets and companies to embrace their social responsibilities and integrate social affairs into their core business strategies, Chen noted.
Last September, Yicai entered into a communication partnership with the UNGC to support the Accelerator programs’ landing in China.
The Forum Analysis Summary of the UN ECOSOC Partnership Forum 2023 will contain key policy messages discussed at the event and the collaboration segment. It will be a reference for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July, the 2023 Economic and Social Council, and the overall work of other key intergovernmental processes this year.
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