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“Meet to Meet the SDG”: UNICEF- Children’s Rights and Business Principles

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) launched in September 2015, which replace the Millennium Development goals (MDG), offer a more comprehensive and ambitious development agenda. While expanding from 8 to 17 goals and 48 to 169 targets, the responsibilities but also the opportunities for the private sector became critical.  The SDG can be seen as a call for innovation, reforms, and inclusion, in which engaging with all stakeholders or building partnership should be main driver.

 

In Vietnam, the call to “Meet to meet the SDG” is exactly aiming for such creation of new partnerships. Under the umbrella of the UN Global Compact Network Vietnam (GCNV), VCCI as the national representative of commerce and industry and UNIDO as the dedicated UN organization for industrial development are proud to be one of the first movers globally introducing the SDG to the private sector and initiating a collective action. The “Meet to meet the SDG” initiative is open to all stakeholders who wish to share experiences, look for ideas, offer support or simply just want to show their commitment to a more inclusive and sustainable world by 2030.

 

Meet to meet the SDG has the potential to become the platform for UN engagement with the Vietnamese business community on various key concerns/opportunities and UNICEF is the first UN Partner to support the concept with focus and content, specifically related to SDGs and Children with specific focus on Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

 

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) were developed and released in March 2012 in a global partnership between UNICEF, Save the Children and UN Global Compact and launched in Viet Nam in November 2014 with participation and endorsement of the Deputy Prime Minister, leading Chambers of Commerce, Private Sector Partners and Civil Society Representatives. It is the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights. The CRBP recognizes the tremendous positive power of businesses large and small, and seek to support the best business practices.

 

The Travel and Tourism industry, as an example demonstrated today, has a complex value chain and range of direct and indirect human rights risks, including child labour and working conditions for young people and young mothers, possible misuse of facilities and infrastructure related to sexual exploitation and trafficking concerns, and child rights vulnerabilities related to land and water use, pollution and environment impacts.

 

In 2015 Vietnam was selected as a priority destination market for the pilot impact assessment conducted by UNICEF PSPF (Global) in close collaboration with global partners of travel and tourism business participating in the project. The T&T assessment is the first industry specific CRBP action that UNICEF Viet Nam has supported following the launch of the CRBP in 2014 and the Meet to Meet the SDGs two workshops in HCMC on 13 May 2016 and in Hanoi on 20 May 2016i are an excellent opportunity for us to present the findings and further discuss with key stakeholders, including those of the T&T sector whether and how to adapt the findings, global tools and guidelines to local S&M enterprises.

And: NOBODY IS TOO SMALL TO JOIN.

 

Experts’ quotes “Meet to meet the SDG”

 

 

Ms. Pham Thi Thu Hang

Secretary General, VCCI

“SDG is expected to bring in positive changes to the world since business community is considered as key player. This fits to the situation and encourages the work of VCCI. A small change of an enterprise could lead to big changes not only to itself but also to its stakeholders, community and next generation. This platform shows our effort to enable business principles to be closer to meet children's rights. Such practice will support us to nurture really good future entrepreneurs."

 

 

Mr. Youssouf Abdel-Jelil

UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam

“Engaging in a dialogue that focuses on children is an investment, not a cost. We look to the private sector for visionary leadership and action based on the tacit understanding that countries, communities and children that companies depend on, also depend on companies. Child rights and profit are not mutually exclusive.”

 

 

Ms. Marianna Oehlers

UNICEF Expert

"CSR creates benefits for business, and also for children. Following CSR business principles, you gain trust from your labour, your stakeholders, and your kids, facilitate them to grow safely and happily in workplace, marketplace, community and environment. Business and development should bring smiles to children. That is final objective of UNICEF CRBP."

 

 

Mr. Miguel Charneco Garrido

Piaggio Vietnam, Eurocham Boardmember

"Enterprises might think of technology, labour, insurance, etc. but rarely children if they are not producing child related products. This mindset would make children be forgotten in business activities. SDG and CRBP are great combination for enterprises to rethink their business and become pioneers to achieve Agenda 2030."

 

Mr. Florian Beranek

UNIDO Lead Expert Societal Responsibility & RBC

“UNIDO with its local partner VCCI has been promoting SR, which should be integrated in operation activities, for a long time in Viet Nam. Responsibility for next generation is one of the priorities for any good business. The initiative with joint action of UNIDO - UNICEF - VCCI is promising to make more good business available in the country.”

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