Eliminating poverty is smart business, UN tells delegates in Istanbul

Nov 29, 2016

Istanbul, Turkey – The private sector can help achieve the Global Goals if it makes the elimination of poverty a part of its core business, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said today at the opening of a summit here today.

“Businesses are increasingly joining forces to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their core business strategies. This is encouraging but it is not yet the norm,” said Marcos Neto, the Director of UNDP’s private sector center in Istanbul.

“On average, the private sector accounts for 60 percent of GDP, 80 percent of capital flows, and 90 percent of jobs in developing countries. By adopting sustainable practices, businesses can also gain a competitive edge, increase their market share, and boost stakeholder value while accelerating progress towards the Global Goals”.

The Seventh Bosphorus Summit is bringing together more than 2,000 leaders from business, politics, academia and the UN to showcase practical solutions, create partnerships and mobilize public and private investments to achieve the SDGs.

Delegates at the event will also discuss the role of new mechanisms – such as a recently established Islamic finance and impact investing platform -- or the Connecting Business initiative, launched at the World Humanitarian Summit, which aims to involve the private sector in disaster risk reduction.

“Through UNDP’s Istanbul Private Sector Center, UNDP and Turkey have taken concrete steps to engage the private sector in the sustainable development agenda globally” said Lutfi Elvan, Turkey’s Minister of Development.

“We’re seeing the impact of our joint work in places like Kosovo*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, India and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where thousands of young people are getting marketable skills”.

The Bosphorus Summit is an annual event organized by the International Cooperation Platform (ICP), a Turkey-based non-governmental organization, to promote multilateral cooperation and bring together organizations of different backgrounds around sustainable development issues.

UNDP and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) have been collaborating with ICP for the third year in a row.


UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. www.undp.org.

The Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD) is one of UNDP’s six Global Policy Centres with a special mandate to focus on the role of the private sector in development. It was established in 2011 and became a legal global entity following the ratification of the Partnership Framework Agreement (PFA) by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 2012. IICPSD builds on Turkey’s convening power and dynamic private sector as well as UNDP’s global mandate to engage the private sector constructively in addressing development challenges.

Follow us on twitter @IICPSD #Biz4SDGs