At its meeting this month, the Group of Seven (G7) highlighted a number of Global Compact issue areas – including the UN Sustainable Development Goals, business and human rights (including responsible supply chains), the Women’s Empowerment Principles (a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women) and climate change – as key global priorities.
The G7 Leaders’ Summit Declaration can be accessed in full here.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
In reaffirming their commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goal agenda, the G7 Leaders stated: “We are committed to building a new global partnership based on universality, shared responsibility, mutual accountability, efficient and effective monitoring and review and a multi-stakeholder approach to our common goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and transitioning to sustainable development”.
Business and human rights and responsible supply chains
The G7 leaders declared strong support for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and welcomed efforts to develop substantive National Action Plans. They called on businesses to ensure implementation of effective human rights due diligence, including in relation to supply chains, stating that they “recognise the joint responsibility of governments and business to foster sustainable supply chains and encourage best practice”.
Women’s Economic Empowerment
The G7 nations aim to reduce the gender gap in their own countries’ workforce participation by 25% over the next ten years, and called on business to fulfil its critical role in this endeavour. The leaders also endorsed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) – a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women – which provide practical guidance for businesses on empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Climate Change & COP21
The G7 declared their determination to reach an agreed outcome at the UN Climate Conference (COP21) in December, and emphasised the crucial role business has to play on climate change, calling on the private sector to mobilise capital and develop and deploy innovative technologies to support a transition to a low-carbon global economy.