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Sustainable Development Goals

Connecting the business & human rights and the sustainable development agendas

Human rights are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Simply put, a development path in which human rights are not respected and protected cannot be sustainable. This is why the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlines that the aim of the Sustainable Development Goals is to “realize the human rights of all”.

The Working Group on Business and Human Rights has stressed that human rights must be embedded in policies and practice as countries begin to translate the ambitious SDGs into concrete action.

The goals, agreed by world leaders as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, envisage partnerships between the private sector and governments as part of efforts to solve the world’s development challenges. However, unless these business contributions are based on accountability and respect for human rights, the private sector risks undermining rather than supporting sustainable development, the Working Group has stressed.

See Working Group’s key recommendations for embedding human rights in the private sector's envisaged contribution to the SDGs.

The role of business in sustainable development will also be on the agenda of the annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.

As the Human Rights Council renewed the mandate of the Working Group on 22 June 2017, it added a request for the Working Group “to give due consideration to the implementation of the Guiding Principles in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (paragraph 12 of resolution 35/7).

Statements by the Working Group