The SDG Fund’s latest report, “Business and the SDG 16: Contributing to peaceful, just and inclusive societies” examines the relationship between peace and sustainable development
According the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), almost 1.5 billion people live in vulnerable environments, stricken with conflicts. Furthermore, it predicts a worsening situation where that number would increase to 82% in 2030. However, by that time, societies would already have proven their degree of compliance with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that seek to transform today’s society and make this world a better place to live in.
The report entitled “Business and the SDG 16: Contributing to more peaceful, just and inclusive societies”, was launched today in Madrid. It was developed by the SDG Fund and the Pennsylvania University and examines the relationship between peace and sustainable development. Member institutions of the SDG Fund Private Sector Advisory Group like the BBVA Microfinance Foundation have shared their experience to help find solutions and identify future challenges in meeting SDG 16, which advocates for a more just and peaceful world.
The BBVAMF, in its mission to promote sustainable development of vulnerable people, directly impacts this SDG. The report states that the Foundation supports the peace process in Colombia, where it works with the displaced population, giving them access to financial services so they could have the opportunity for a new start. “We are already present in the majority of Colombia’s prioritized municipalities for peace-building”, confirms head of Institutional Relations in the BBVAMF, Tula Ducasse, during her intervention at the report’s launch.
For 2018, the Foundation is working on a project in Colombia, endorsed by the government institutions and development agencies. “We will serve thousands of vulnerable entrepreneurs, mostly from rural areas, who have been conflict victims through financial products and services, as well as training. All of this, with special consideration to women”, shared Tula Ducasse.
We will serve thousands of vulnerable entrepreneurs, mostly from rural areas, who have been conflict victims through financial products and services, as well as training
During the report launch, Ana María Salazar, gender adviser for the SDG Fund acknowledged the BBVAMF’s efforts, “When I got to know the work done by the Foundation in Panama, I was amazed. Their endeavor is well-thought of, to the point that the names of the local programs are adapted so that people could relate to them. The entrepreneurs’ repayment capacity is also impressive.”
The publication also mentioned the agreements between Bancamía and the World Bank and USAID (United States Agency for International Development), as well as the BBVAMF’s participation in the Macroround for Reconciliation, which seeks to integrate various stakeholders to formalize peace in Colombia. According to the SDG Fund, the public-private alliances referred to in Goal 17 are one of the essential tools to achieve peace.
Moreover, the report highlights the Foundation’s contribution to the regulation of the microfinance sector, indispensable to strengthen institutions and one of the pillars of the SDG 16.
Peace, an imperative to close economic and gender gaps
The SDG Fund’s report, recently presented at the UN Headquarters in New York, also recognizes “the need to innovate so that peace could contribute to meet other fundamental goals like Gender equality (SDG 5) or Economic growth (SDG 8).” According to the UNDP, “maintaining peace and sustainable development are two sides of the same coin”. Because of this, institutions like the BBVA Microfinance Foundation integrates the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its DNA, an unavoidable path to change the world leaving no one behind.
About the SDG Fund Private Sector Advisory Group
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation, along with other Spanish organizations like Ferrovial, Ebro Foods and SERES Foundation, and eight others from around the globe, lead the private sector’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, whose ultimate aim is to eradicate poverty and all forms of inequality.
The twelve organizations constitute the SDG Fund Private Sector Advisory Group, created by the United Nations in 2014 through an initial contribution by the Spanish government. This Fund has projects in more than 20 countries, co-financed by other public and private partners. It promotes alliances between both sectors to include corporate experience for the first time, decisive in meeting the 2030 Agenda, together with governments, international organisations and civil society.