Speech to the MGSM and Australia Israel Chamber of CommerceLeadership SeriesSydney, NSW, November 8th 2012Matthew Tukaki, ...
On the cusp of the new millennium former Secretary General Kofi Annan took a message to theDavos World Economic Forum wher...
Government and local mayors to business executives, scientists, religious leaders, civil societyactivists and not least, t...
≥   Energy & Climate    ≥   Water & Ecosystems    ≥   Agriculture & Food    ≥   Social Development    ≥   Urbanization & C...
time I will travel to Sri Lanka as part of our global strategic leadership review group to begin ensuringwe ourselves have...
we can do it. Firstly when it comes to disaster and a natural event, that on any given day isincreasing significantly in t...
Slide Nineteen: New guides and toolkitsAnd, in support of these and all of our other initiatives both pre and post the Rio...
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Speech to the MGSM and Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce Leadership Series


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Speech to the MGSM and Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce Leadership Series on Sustainable Development and the business linkages to peace and development

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Speech to the MGSM and Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce Leadership Series

  1. 1. Speech to the MGSM and Australia Israel Chamber of CommerceLeadership SeriesSydney, NSW, November 8th 2012Matthew Tukaki, Australian Representative to the United Nations GlobalCompactSpeech background:Matthew Tukaki is the Australian Representative to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) withthe UNGC being the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative. Mr Tukaki is also the current CEOand Executive Chairman of the Sustain Group in Australia, Director of the Board of the AustralianIndigenous Chamber of Commerce, Suicide Prevention Australian and the Advisory Board of DeakinUniversities Centre for Sustainable and Responsible Organisations. Matthew is previously theRegional Head of Drake, one of the world’s oldest and most respected employment and humanresources companies. He is also a former Chairman of the Government Policy Advisory Panel, theCIO Council and the Skills for Schools Program. For information or commentary about this speechplease contact media@sustaingroup.net or call Matthew Tukaki directly on 0415 093 137 inAustralia or from overseas on +61 415 093 137.Speech begins:Good morning everyone and thank for that warm introduction. Id like to begin byacknowledging the Indigenous owners of this land on which we meet today and pay myrespects to the elders both past and present. I would also like to thank Debbie, MGSM andthe AICC for having me a long this morning. I tend to spend most, if not all presentations,talking to any number of UN Groups or representatives so it’s a welcome respite being backin front of people who come from such a diverse range of organisations.Slide one: Opening SlideId like to say how easy it is to come along and speak to a group of people about sustainabledevelopment or leadership and peace – but the fact is we could speak days if not weeks trying tounpack everything. So, this morning I have decided to take you on a journey to provide some moreperspective not only about who the UNGC is, but also, the role we and business play when it comesto some of the challenges we face. There will also be a little history lesson and a timeline of thesustainable development journey the links to peace and conflict – im going to talk briefly about therole that the RIO+20 conference on sustainable development has played and some of those keyoutcomes finally interloping back into the peace and conflict elements that Debbie has beendiscussing. So, please bear with me im going to read formally from a speech with some slides, whichif you knew me I don’t do often, but I have a lot to say.Slide two: About the Global Compactwww.unglobalcompact.org.au
  2. 2. On the cusp of the new millennium former Secretary General Kofi Annan took a message to theDavos World Economic Forum where he called on business and industry to embrace, support andenact a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards and environmentalpractices. It was a call to arms by the Secretary General and recognition that business should andmust play a role in a world that is increasingly fragile, in various states of social and economicdevelopment, states of conflict of war, differences of opinion and intolerance. The United NationsGlobal Compact was born. Today, under our chief architect, Georg Kell, we have grown to more than8,500 signatories across 135 countries that make up our planets largest corporations, industrygroups, union movements, micro enterprises and financial institutions. By 2020 we aim to havemore than 20,000 businesses of all sizes and from all geographies involved. It is our planets singlelargest corporate citizenship initiative. At our heart sit four fundamental and universal Principleswhereby business must communicate their progress on each annually – Human Rights, Anti-Corruption, the Environment and Labour. Here in Australia there are more than 300 signatories whoare party to the Compact and a further 300 global organisations with operations in Australia. Overthe course of this last 18 months more than 1200 individuals and organisations have attended one ofour three leadership groups and we have gone to great lengths to enter into dialogue andpartnerships with Government and the Non-Government sector to the point where our Signatoriesalso include organisations such as the Diversity Council of Australia, World Vision and Fair TradeAustralia and New Zealand.Slide three: the UNGC Convened the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability ForumBefore we look forward we need to first look back for a moment. 25 years ago former NorwegianPrime Minister Gro Brundtland, who later became the Director General of the World HealthOrganisation, presided over the World Commission on Environment and Development. In 1987 areport, widely known as the Brundtland Report was published and entitled “Our Common Future”.The Commission was one of the key driving factors for the establishment of the first Earth Summit in1992 and what is known as Agenda 21. The first Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro and for thefirst time the linkages between social, economic and environmental development were drawn. Inmany ways you cannot alleviate poverty unless you are also able to grow an economy and createjobs, you cannot address issues dealing with the environment and social justice unless you firstempower the people not to be subservient but to be independent and in order to achieve asustainable future you must establish the necessary governance structures to support people and aneconomy as they move from poverty to empowerment. In many ways you cannot achieve a lastingsolution unless we properly and consistently address the fundamental societal issues that lie at thevery core of many of the great challenges we face today.In June this year, 25 years later and again in Rio, the world again came together with a focus onsustainable development. For many however, there was a belief that Rio+20 was wholly and solelyabout the climate change challenge, and as obviously as important as it is climate was not the corefocus of the conference. This time the linkages, discussed by Brundtland, between social, economicand environmental development were much clearer. In a report entitled “Resilient People, ResilientPlanet” co-authors Jacob Zuma and Tarja Halonen made it clear that in order to achieve asustainable world, a future we all want that any recommendation and flow on from Rio+20 wouldrequire commitment and action from citizens across all sectors of society, from Heads of State andwww.unglobalcompact.org.au
  3. 3. Government and local mayors to business executives, scientists, religious leaders, civil societyactivists and not least, the leaders of the next generation, today’s youth. In a world post the globalfinancial crisis, where a lot of work needs to be done to rebuild the economies of nations states andregions there was a general view that Rio+20 was not a success. I can tell you from our view that isfar from the truth. One of the key differences between the first Earth Summit in 1992 and Rio+20 inJune of this year is the increasing role business and industry can and must play when it comes tosome of the biggest challenges our planet faces, whether it is climate change, food and watersecurity, population, education, health, poverty alleviation and the empowerment andindependence of women, girls and indigenous people. As an equal partner at the table business andindustry have, over these last 25 years, accepted more of the responsibility and accountability thatparticipation brings. It used to be the case that civil society organisations and non-governmentoperators were the main balancing actors in the debate and discussion, where business and industryhave largely been viewed with suspicion in respect of their motivators for behavioural change. Ishould be very clear not every person or organisation in the sector is a good corporate citizen, thereare certainly some out there that are driven more by profit that sound reasoning and there are stillsome that believe that climate change is all a bit of a story – but in the main, today, the vast majorityare not of those views or opinions.another core outcome of Rio+20 was that fundamental and specific recognition that each of us playan important and equal role as symbiotic links in a chain just as there are links between the threepillars of social, economic and environmental development. Whether we operate here at home or adeveloping country abroad the very need to build and manage the business case for our sociallicense to operate is fundamental. Governments demand it, communities require it, ourshareholders want it, our employees want to live it and as a CEO and Chairman, Director of anynumber of Boards I want to ensure we deliver it. Put simply a social license to operate is where weengage with the local community to ensure that while there are obvious commercial imperativesthat we provide the very social and economic support programmes such as jobs, education andhealth, that will in themselves assist local communities grow. Good business is not about a win forthe company and a loss for the community or the environment – it must be a win win for both, apartnership of equity and equality.Business and industry are and must be an owner and first responder when it comes to sustainabledevelopment both at home and abroad whether it be our supply chains in developing countries, orthe very real influence we can bring to bear on nation states to improve their own behaviour – it isour responsibility and our present and future social license to operate depends on it.Slide Four: So what of RIO+20?So what was the business and industry response to the evolving and developing agenda of Rio+20?In 2010 at the UNGC Leaders Summit in New York and throughout the regional consultations with all100 Local Networks (NB Burma had not yet been established) and the signatory base a view wastaken that not only should we focus our energies on some core thematic areas, we needed to ensurewe arrived at real outcomes that business and industry could lead, be involved in or partner with.Under the guise of sustainable development the agenda encompassed:www.unglobalcompact.org.au
  4. 4. ≥ Energy & Climate ≥ Water & Ecosystems ≥ Agriculture & Food ≥ Social Development ≥ Urbanization & Cities ≥ Economics & Finance of Sustainable DevelopmentPartnering with other UN Agencies and delivery organisations such as the UNEP, the ILO and theInternational Finance Corporation we then bought more than 2,500 business executives and leaders,organisational and institutional representatives together to begin unpacking what those real andtangible outcomes could be. One of the most bluntest of statements I myself made at the time is weneed to shift the focus away from competing with each other, being critical of each other in line withthe common cause. As crass as it might sound when a nation state crosses the border of anothernation state we have all sorts of diplomatic problems and issues – yet when a business crosses aborder we call it investment – therefore lets ensure we attach rules of engagement, supportstructures and principles once a business does get established offshore – particularly developingcountriesSlide five: The Objectives of Rio+20 from businessWe set ourselves some pretty big objectives. The first was to prove to colleauges and the world thatcorporate sustainability is an essential element in achieving sustainable development and the viceversa need for business to engage more with the UN System and for the UN System to recognise theimportant role of business. We want to demonstrate that principle based platforms are and doadvance critical issues – that the process of having organisations commit to a series of outcomes andindicators can make a difference when it comes to everything from women’s empowerment tochildren’s rights and sustainable energy. We needed to ensure the message was clear that there canbe no sustainable development without the inherent need to respect human rights – and thatbusiness have an equal and common role in that cause. The UNGC Network in Australia establishedour Human Rights Leadership Group more than two years ago to do just that. We needed andwanted to demonstrate that technological and social innovations could in fact provide the verysolutions we are looking for when it comes to the many challenges we face today and that withinvestor and finance support we can actually arrive at those solutions a lot sooner. Hence the rise ofsocial investment and social impact investing. In Rio the UNGC and the Rockefeller Foundationlaunched the new framework for action on social enterprise and impact investing.Slide six: continuedAnother key objective following on from or announcements around social enterprise and impactinvesting was to ensure that we included the roles played by stock exchanges, business schools andcities in stimulating the need by business to act upon sustainability. Of course, was the increasingneed to ensure we also encouraged more companies and organisations to sign on to programs withactual reporting components as we have advanced through the global compact. I can tell you that by2020 it is our goal and aspiration to more than double the signatory base to 20,000. In a few weeks-www.unglobalcompact.org.au
  5. 5. time I will travel to Sri Lanka as part of our global strategic leadership review group to begin ensuringwe ourselves have the capacity to meet that number.Finally, and to me personally as Australia’s Representative to the UNGC was the need to ensure wemobilized a large and significant number of commitments to action by business and industry – thatthese commitments would arrive at real outcome..Slide seven: Australian business involvementTo help achieve these objectives Australian business and our own local signatory group played asignificant role in Rio. We convened the panel known as the business response to the sustainabilitychallenge where we took some of our best practice from corporates with operations in Papua NewGuinea, Indonesia, Africa and South America and engaged with dialogue with our counterparts in thesame industries and other countries. Joining with Indonesia and Japan we looked at commonresponses in returning an economy to production post a major natural disaster and the role businesscan play in the aftermath of events such as the Japan Earthquake or Boxing Day Tsunami. Togetherwith Germany and Indonesia we took on the issue of Human Rights, Childrens Rights and theEmpowerment of Women in society – all important to the broader task of sustainable development.Slide eight: water and ecosystems and natural capitalMore broadly 45 CEO’s of some of the planets major corporations involved in the UNGC WaterMandate took things further by agreeing to deepen and broaden their development of corporatewater sustainability policies and practices. 37 banks, investment funds and insurance companiessubmitted a far reaching natural capital declaration whereby it becomes part of our business toensure we integrate natural capital considerations into products and services.Slide nine: sustainable agricultureTogether with a group of 16 leading companies in the food and agriculture sector we haverecognised the need for food security across the planet and as a result need to ensure we commit tothe development of principles on good practice and policy for sustainable agriculture.Slide ten: Involving stock exchanges – responsibleFinally and as mentioned before the role that the finance sector can play when it comes tosupporting the transition to a low carbon and green economy. So far 5 stock exchanges with morethan 4.600 listed companies between them have now committed to promote long-term, sustainableinvestment in their markets while more than 70 businesses, national Governments and internationalorganisations have endorsed the green industry platform.Slide eleven: the role of business and peaceIt is important to recognise that after everything I have said on all of the points I have made aboutthe outcomes of Rio+20 the main point should be that business and industry plays a significant roleand so do we when it comes to peace. More to the point both the pre-emption and aftermath of asignificant event, and we have to categorise them correctly and re-think what we can do and howwww.unglobalcompact.org.au
  6. 6. we can do it. Firstly when it comes to disaster and a natural event, that on any given day isincreasing significantly in terms of risk. We have seen the aftermath of the Japanese Tsunami thattook more than 20,000 lives, in the Boxing day Tsunami we saw an event that took hundreds ofthousands of lives from Indonesia alone. In New Zealand the Christchurch earthquake didn’t justtake lives it destroyed a significant amount of the CBD of a mainland city. The tropical storms inBurma a few years ago, the earthquakes in China and the disaster that is Haiti and, of course, mostrecently, Hurricane Sandy and the devastation that has been brought to bear on the East Coast ofthe United States – more to the point the continued suffering of the Haitian People in that samestorm system. In the horn of Africa we have significant challenges and problems not only withongoing conflict and war, but the flow on effects such as famon. Conflict doesn’t just put pressure onpeople who become refugees in another country, it also puts significant pressure on the food andwater systems and infrastructure of the country where the camps are being hosted. Notwithstanding there are some people who are not third and fourth generation refugees in camps righthere in Asia. I spent yesterday afternoon with Baroness Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary Generalfor Emergency Relief and Humanitarian Affairs where we talked about all of these pressing issuesand how business can be more engaged. Of course, as you can imagine the daily struggle that Valerieand her team need to confront is immense. Not only are they dealing with the influx of refugeesfrom Syria into neighbouring countries there are still the challenges associated with ensuringemergency relief and support for those who are still trapped.Slide Twelve: Horn of Africa In the Horn of Africa more than 10.7 million people need help. Not only is it facing the driest periodin the last sixty years, there are multiple interlinked conflicts, population growth is increasing,poverty is entrenched and education and health are basic if not non-existent. Dadaab refugee campis already at capacity. In fact a year ago there were 350,000 refugees with 23,000 facing backlogs.Kenya established a new camp to house 80,000 people and in Ethiopia, 2000 people a day werearriving at the Dolo camp. 2.6 million people in Somalia need assistance as well. As you can see thechallenge seems to be significant.Slide Thirteen/ fourteen / fifteen / sixteen: War and ConflictsThe fact is war and conflict is nothing more than a contributor to the human challenges we facebought on my drought, lack of water and therefore lack of food. It forces people to migrate, to run,to move to walk and to suffer. For all of the human challenges we face, those bought on by disasterand war remain the biggest.Slide 17 and 18: what can business do and what is the UN doingSo, we recognise that business and industry must be involved because without sustainabledevelopment you cannot have sustainable peace. Unless we assist in growing an economy, makinginvestments that matter, ensure that we provide ope, aspiration and opportunity then the veryconflicts that we are trying to find common ground around to achieve peace cannot be achieved.Sierra Leonne is an example of where that is beginning to happen (Sekai Holland story). The UN isdoing its part and you can to.Slides seventeen and eighteen: UN Businesswww.unglobalcompact.org.au
  7. 7. Slide Nineteen: New guides and toolkitsAnd, in support of these and all of our other initiatives both pre and post the Rio world we havemoved to ensure we have toolkits and guides in place to work with business to implement andexecute. I trust that gives you a good but very brief snapshot and certainly wish you all well for therest of your gathering.Speech endswww.unglobalcompact.org.au