A high-level event organised by UNITAR in collaboration with the Rotary Club Genève International and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services

22 April 2016, Geneva, Switzerland  -UNITAR, in collaboration with the Rotary Club Genève International and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services, held on the 22nd April 2016 in the Palais des Nations, a high-level event on the relevance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the private sector.

The high-level event saw the participation of representatives from many of the most influential companies in the Geneva canton, who attended the day’s two sessions. Following a brief introduction presented by UNITAR Executive Director Mr. Nikhil Seth; the first session was devoted to the question of the need of private sector participation in the achievement of the SDGs, under the moderation of Deputy Director and Head of International Affairs of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services Mr. Vincent Subilia. The meeting saw presentations by Dr. Marion Jansen of the International Trade Centre, Ms. Michelle Cangelosi of Rotary International, Mr. Matthew Kilgarriff of Global Compact Network and Ms. Wanda Lopuch of the Global Sourcing Council, and was followed by an open Question and Answer session between the panel and attending audience.

The day’s second session, moderated by the manager of UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme, Mr. Rabih El-Haddad, was conducted under the theme of the possible return on investment for private sector members assisting in the attainment of the SDGs. Presenters such as Ms. Nathalie Hardyn of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services, Ms. Nicola Ruane of Ernst & Young and Mr. Jean-Christophe Barth-Coullaré of HASE Solutions expounded their views on this topic. Speaking on the importance of the Sustainable Development Agenda, presenter Yonathan Parienti said:


“Whatever the size of mountain we have to climb, we can make an impact and it starts now”.

Following these work sessions, participants were then invited to a reception in the Restaurant des Délégués to discuss these themes in a more informal setting.

With the success of this high-level event, UNITAR looks forward to hosting more events seeking to bridge the gap existing between the private sector, public institutions and international organizations in order to better align the interests of various stakeholders in making the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals a global reality by 2030.