KUALA LUMPUR, 21 Oct 2019 – CIMB Group (“CIMB” or “the Group”), along with 29 other global business titans have pledged to collaborate over the next two years to fulfill the objectives of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance. The GISD is a United Nations’ (UN) initiative to free up trillions of dollars from the private sector to finance the Sustainable Development Goals.
Convened by Secretary-General António Guterres, the GISD Alliance – launched in New York on 16 October 2019 – was co-chaired by Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz, and Leila Fourie, CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and included the heads of Bank of America, Citigroup, ICBC, Infosys, Investec, Santander, UBS and other prominent international corporations.
The Alliance members aim to use their expertise, influence and business acumen in devising ways to stimulate long term investment in development and speed up progress towards achieving the SDGs.
Over the next two years, the group will deliver solutions to unlock long-term finance and investment in sustainable development both at company and system-wide levels; mobilize additional resources for countries and sectors most in need; find ways to increase the positive impact of business activities; and align business practices with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“We are pleased to join forces with 29 other global corporations to champion sustainable development worldwide. Being part of the GISD Alliance complements our commitment to UNEP-FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking, and our five-year plan on realizing CIMB’s SDG-related goals. It will also see us enhance efforts towards increasing investments in sustainable development, in line with CIMB’s focus on sustainability, a key pivot of our current growth plan, Forward23.” said Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO, CIMB Group.
According to Guterres, as the world faces widening inequality, increased devastation from conflicts and disasters and a rapidly warming earth, these leaders seize the sense of urgency, recognizing that the pace must be a run and not a crawl. The leaders are committed to cooperate across borders and financial sectors along with competitors, because it is both ethical and good business sense to invest in sustainable development for all people on a healthy planet.
The High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development held during the recent UN General Assembly brought to attention the urgent need for increasing government spending on crucial sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, and climate change.
Most developed countries have not met their commitments to official development assistance (ODA), while factors like poverty, corruption, and tax evasion limit domestic resources in developing countries.
The development finance needs are estimated at trillions of dollars per year, and even if funding from all public sources is maximized, there will still be a significant shortfall, making financing from the private sector imperative.
The UN’s research suggests that there is no shortage of money from the private sector which could be invested in sustainable development. However, a combination of factors, including the policy environment, incentive structures and institutional conditions, tend to discourage the kind of long-term commitment that is needed.
The GISD’s move comes amidst a growing recognition in the corporate community that the continued success of their companies is inextricably linked to a sustainable future for the world. The Secretary-General has established a timeline for actionable results over the life of the Alliance. Its work will be coordinated by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.