United Nations Development Programme
Sustainable human development
To:Regional Bureaux Directors
From: James Gustave Speth
Cc: Mr. Bruce Jenks
Date: 15 June 1998
Subject: Global Sustainable Development Facility
I am very happy to report that the Global Sustainable Development Facility initiative presented to you at our Executive Committee meeting on 13 February is making impressive headway. In the less than 4 months since the presentation, the Private Sector Development Programme team had made remarkable inroads in the global corporate community. We now have 11 global corporations signed on as sponsors. Our goal of a minimum of 20 looks very likely over the next several months.
As you will recall these corporations are being requested to participate with us in developing a new vehicle which would be launched in the first quarter of 1999. This vehicle would be a key means to mobilize resources (human, financial and technical) to further UNDP's work around the world in areas that further our common agendas. The responses from the interviews, many at the level of Chief Executive Officer, have been most encouraging. Also encouraging has been the reaction of key players, including Maurice Strong and the President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Bjorn Stigson, who are giving early and enthusiastic support.
We are at a critical stage in development of the GSDF. I am also happy to note that we are planning a series of pilot projects, which will serve to demonstrate to corporations how future "joint-ventures" would function. I am writing to ask each of you to meet with Henry Jackelen and Andrei Marcu, Manager, GSDF, to discuss the status of the initiative and to determine how current and planned activities or possible new activities in your regions could benefit from GSDF.
This global initiative is central to our effort to engage the corporate sector. Corporate leaders recognize the critical nature of UNDP's operations and our global network. Early indications are that they welcome the GSDF. The Secretary-General has made clear that he welcomes efforts of the United Nations system to work with corporations. In this regard, I would ask that you consider the GSDF as a key partner in your efforts to reach out to the corporate sector. The main beneficiary of our success will be our country offices that will be able to use the GSDF as direct support as well as a model for their own efforts.