A Holiday Message from Business for Peace
23 December 2022
If you told me a year ago I would be writing these words in the midst of a full-scale territorial war on European soil, I would not have believed you. Yet, here we are at the end of 2022, a year that one could easily be forgiven for labelling an annus horribilis. This rings particularly true when the glaring violations on Ukraine’s sovereignty is coupled with the subsequent soaring prices on basic necessities, rising interest rates, and a lingering COVID-19 situation. We live in unprecedented times.
In addition to this, the climate change threat is more severe than ever, there are deep-seated trust issues, and broken supply chains between the global north and the global south. And the
lead-up to the Football World Cup in Qatar showed us that tens of millions of migrant workers worldwide are stuck in a precarious position, with grave human rights violations being committed.
Yet, all is far from hopeless. On December 19th, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada adopted the Global Biodiversity Framework, which aims to protect 30% of Earth’s lands, oceans, coastal areas, inland waters; Reduce by $500 billion annual harmful government subsidies; Cut food waste by 2030. The need to “foster the full and effective contributions of […] the private and financial sectors” are deemed critical throughout the framework’s four goals and 23 targets.
I am also relieved to see an ever-increasing focus on the global challenges at hand. New technology and a genuine willingness to build back better offer unimaginable opportunities for better lives and green growth. Now, more than ever before, the private sector has to be a fundamental part of global development, global solutions and global wealth distribution.
Private companies are rising to the challenge in record numbers. And, like the global network of Oslo Business for Peace Award Honourees, a growing amount of businessworthy leaders work tirelessly every day, all over the planet, to conduct business that does good, provide innovative solutions to global challenges, and which also inspires other business leaders to act businessworthy.
As 2022 draws to a close, I and everyone at Business for Peace are filled with renewed optimism and motivation to help re-imagine capitalism and make all businesses a force for good. After years of work, 2023 will see an immense opportunity come to fruition, where we together with our partners will lay the groundwork for a new form for multilateralism and transformative partnership as set out by the UN Secretary-General, to help build future systems of collaboration between business and society.
I hope you and your loved ones will have a peaceful holiday season. For all those that are not so fortunate; I promise that we will work tirelessly for a better tomorrow.