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The new global challenge to business: Be part of the solution to major social problems

If personally or as a corporate leader you care about health, women’s empowerment, education, environment and other critical issues around the world, consider:

“Strong markets and strong societies go hand in hand.”

That’s the unarguable keystone concept of the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals being presented to multinational companies by the UN Global Compact.

The SDGs, to be formally launched at the UN General Assembly in late September, build on the significant progress on such issues made during the now expiring U.N. Millennium Development Goals. But there’s a major difference: Business is now to play a much more central role in developing and implementing the many partnerships with governments and civic society needed to improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world.

Literally, this can be a new era for business in society.

The UN Global Compact, with its Local Networks in some 85 countries — as well as 12,000 participants including some 8,000 member companies — represents a major resource for getting this done. Among its many key action platforms are “Business For Peace” and “The Women’s Empowerment Principles.”

The premier global organization in sustainable development/corporate social responsibility, the Compact presents this SDGs challenge:

. “Corporate sustainability is the delivery of long-term value in financial, environmental, social and ethical terms.”

. “Companies have a responsibility to respect universal principles and are encouraged to take voluntary actions to support UN goals.”