UN GLOBAL COMPACT

Kenyan CEOs’ feature prominently in UN conversation

Safaricom, Equity chief executives among those listed to talk

In Summary

•The United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, is hosting the ‘Uniting Business LIVE’, a unique online event from September 21–23.

•Virtual event to convene leaders from business, government, and civil society to tackle Covid-19 recovery, Sustainable Development Goals.

A United Nations logo is seen on a glass door in the Assembly Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York City/FILE
A United Nations logo is seen on a glass door in the Assembly Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York City/FILE

Kenyan CEO ‘s are this week at the centre of the United Nations Global Compact conversation, a time world leaders would normally converge in New York for the UN High-Level week.

The United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, is hosting the ‘Uniting Business LIVE’, a unique online event from September 21–23.

To mark the opening of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly and the 20th anniversary of the UN Global Compact, Uniting Business LIVE will virtually convene leaders from business, government, and civil society to tackle Covid-19 recovery and share their commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN Global Compact CEO and executive director Sanda Ojiambo will kick off three days of unique virtual conferences featuring dozens of CEOs, corporate sustainability experts, policymakers, civil society leaders, young business innovators, and UN chiefs.

They will be discussing how to advance the SDGs in light of the unforeseen challenges the world faces.

Private Sector speakers include KenGen CEO Rebecca Miano, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, Sasini managing director Martin Ochieng, Melvin Marsh International Flora Mutahi, Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi and 3M CEO Michael Roman.

Others are SAP CEO Christian Klein, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, Imagine Co-Founder Paul Polman, Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber, Enel CEO Franceso Starace, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Coca-Cola Chair and CEO James Quincey, Novozymes CEO Ester Baiget, Moody’s President & CEO Raymond W. McDaniel, and Jr., SkyPower President Kerry Adler.

Deloitte Chair Sharon Thorne, Iberdrola CEO Ignacio S. Galan, Ingka Group CEO Jesper Brodin, Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi, Orestia CEO Maria Fernanda Garza, Daiwa Securities Chair Takashi Hibino, Natura & Co CEO Roberto Marques, BrightGreen CEO Chebet Lesan, Unilever HR Chief Leena Nair, Nigerian Stock Exchange CEO Oscar Onyema and Schneider Electric CEO Jean Pascal Tricoire are also part of the team.

Uniting Business LIVE will kick off at 02:00 p.m. EAT today, 21 September with the Private Sector Forum at which Sanda Ojiambo will present to the UN Secretary-General a Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation signed by hundreds of CEOs signalling strong support from business for the UN’s mission and multilateralism.

On Tuesday, the inaugural Global Impact Forum will showcase four key initiatives to mobilize corporate action on the Global Goals: SDG Ambition, Target Gender Equality, Young SDG Innovators, and Business Ambition for 1.5°C.

These are designed to mainstream sustainable business practices and scale solutions from the ground up, while sharing actionable solutions to practical questions on youth, race, gender equality, climate change, and enhanced collaboration between business and governments, the press and activists.

On Wednesday, the SDG Business Forum, co-hosted by the UN Global Compact, the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs and the International Chamber of Commerce, will showcase how companies are using their influence to lead the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and examine new leadership initiatives that have emerged during this crisis.

Other confirmed speakers at Uniting Business LIVE include UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, Kenya’S ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru, Milton Cheng Global Chair at Baker McKenzie, Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple and UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima.

Also lined up for the event are Somsak Thepsuthin, Minister of Justice, Thailand, Claudia Blum, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Colombia, Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce, PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds, Natura & Co CMO Silvia Lagnado, and RBI CMO Fernando Machado.