NEW YORK CITY, September 19, 2017 – The global mobilization to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is driving more active cooperation and a more holistic approach to development. Speaking in a session on public-private cooperation at the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Sustainable Development Impact Summit, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, told participants that the SDGs offer a framework for connecting the IMF’s mission to promote financial stability and prosperity with development objectives such as gender equality and quality education.
“There are multiple points where our mission meets the SDGs,” Lagarde noted. “When we work on the macroeconomic stability of a country, we can make recommendations such as not to waste finance on subsidies and, instead, target poor people by increasing financing in health and education.”
Businesses similarly can lead by linking their competencies with the development framework laid out by the SDGs. “The economy did not start with making money as the goal,” Feike Sybesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board at Royal DSM in the Netherlands, explained. “We would like to go back to that in our company.” Royal DSM focuses on contributing to addressing hunger, malnutrition and climate change. Companies should focus not just on the financial profits but should look equally at environmental and social benefits, Sybesma advised. “We do a lot on hunger with the World Food Program. But we could never do the same alone.”
On climate change, the company has supported cooperative initiatives to promote carbon pricing, on which the IMF has done in-depth research. Lagarde said that there are fewer than 40 countries that price carbon. “Hopefully there will be more,” she added.