UNDP to promote Sri Lanka’s innovation and responsible businesses
By: Staff Writer
January 25, Colombo (LNW): The United Nations Development Programme in Sri Lanka (UNDP) and the UN Global Compact Network Sri Lanka (Network Sri Lanka) has recently renewed their commitment through the signing of the third Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in a move towards advancing sustainable development.
The agreement aims to join efforts in facilitating private-sector participation and promoting sustainable development in Sri Lanka, the UNDP said in a statement.
As the first non-private sector entity to secure a position on the Network Sri Lanka Board, UNDP has nurtured a robust partnership through years of collaboration with Network Sri Lanka.
This aligns with UNDP’s commitment to enhancing development activities to foster public dialogue, improve awareness among the business community on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and enable their engagement to accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it added.
Through the collaboration with Network Sri Lanka, businesses and non-businesses will be encouraged to conduct responsible business practices to advance the SDGs in key areas such as governance, climate resilience, digitalization, innovation, sustainable finance, and gender, according to the UNDP.
This strategic partnership reflects the joint commitment of UNDP and Network Sri Lanka to promote innovation and responsible business practices while working towards achieving the ambitious goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda, the statement added.
The Government of Sri Lanka’s Cabinet has given the green light for the country’s Green Bond Framework, which was developed by the Ministry of Finance, with support from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The development of the Framework underwent consultation and received inputs from a number of Ministries and Regulators including but not limited to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Environment, the Sustainable Development Council, as well as development partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
The Government of Sri Lanka has set an ambitious agenda to develop the country’s sustainable finance market, by focusing on the development of tools and policy guidance that is needed to effectively manage environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and meet the country’s climate objectives. Despite these ambitions, Sri Lanka continues to face the worst financial crisis that it has seen in decades. The economic crisis, that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, threatens the achievement of the country’s SDG and climate commitments.
In April 2022, the Government of Sri Lanka announced it would be suspending payments on its foreign debt, resulting in the first default in the country’s history and plunging the country’s sovereign credit rating below investment grade.
Throughout the financial and political challenges faced over the past year, ESCAP has been working to support the Government of Sri Lanka to achieve both its short-term and longer-term green finance goals.