United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Business & Industry

Business Action for Water (BAW)
Working for sustainable solutions
A joint initiative for CSD 13 by the:
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) www.iccwbo.org
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) www.wbcsd.org
Statement by Business and Industry
Human Settlements: Job Creation and Enterprise Creation
13 April 2005
Delivered by Norine Kennedy, United States Council for International Business
The formulation of human settlements policies has to be coordinated with policies in the fields of business,
industrialization and employment, since well balanced human communities must provide housing,
employment opportunities and services for the population.
As regards job creation and enterprise creation in the context of human settlements, we feel that there are
some important gaps in the Chair?s IPM Summary in the areas of governance, enabling environments and
technology innovation and cooperation.
Improving security of tenure is crucial, but only part of the story. Addressing the holistic picture of improving
governance will have benefits for job creation, strengthening local enterprises and human settlements.
In many cases, housing doubles as a venue for business, and is the most important collateral for poor
populations. Without strong effective local authorities, institutions, legal and enforced regulatory systems that
are prepared to recognize these assets, they are ?dead capital.? Bringing this ?dead capital? to life is essential
to support and leverage domestic entrepreneurship and enterprise.
Stable enforced regulatory systems and institutions are also crucial to attract such investment, create
employment and support domestic enterprise. Eliminating bribery and corruption, in favor of rule of law and
democratic processes, is of fundamental importance to urban residents, businesses and financing
institutions. Bringing the ?informal sector: into these regulatory and legal frameworks is critical.
One particular governance-related area in which improved governance and clearer rules would have human
settlement benefits concerns the matter of siting businesses and industrial facilities. Without clear rules on
liability, remediation and cleanup responsibility, investors and developers will tend to exploit new properties,
and will avoid so-called brownfields, or existing industrial sites. In our view, using established industrial sites
is preferable from the perspective of encouraging greener businesses, avoiding sprawl, encouraging better
zoning and preserving green space.
Providing sustainable livelihoods, critical to poverty eradication, must go hand in hand with human
Private enterprise ? including farmers, the self-employed, and companies of all sizes ? provides more than
90 percent of new jobs, with the bulk being generated by small and medium sized companies. Private
domestic capital remains the largest source of new investment in developing countries and is, on average, as
much as five times the level of foreign investment in these countries.
Since all countries should make enterprise creation and productive employment a central objective of macroeconomic
policy, we were surprised to see little or no mention of the importance of attracting foreign direct
investment, and of opening markets to goods from developing countries, in this section of the IPM Summary.
We believe that a policy option should be added to the final text on human settlements, job creation and
Business Action for Water (BAW)
Working for sustainable solutions
A joint initiative for CSD 13 by the:
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) www.iccwbo.org
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) www.wbcsd.org
enterprise creation, addressing ?market access and foreign direct investment.? This would include
supporting opening markets, rules-based trade regimes, investment protections and avoidance of trade
This policy option would recommend the creation and strengthening of enabling environments that facilitate
the sustainable flow of private capital, FDI as well as development assistance into least developed
economies, with the following objectives:
· Greater coordination between FDI and ODA policies and practice
· Priority action on combating corruption and promoting good governance
· Stimulation and support of local enterprise
· Job Creation
Companies have at their disposal technologies, management systems and business models that offer routes
to bridge infrastructure gaps and help meet human settlement needs more sustainably (greener building and
construction, energy efficiency, etc.). We would recommend a policy options that recommends using
business-to-business networks and partnerships with public, local and civil society organizations that
leverage business resources to:
· transfer knowledge, skills and good practice;
· share technologies and co-operate to find ways to accelerate dissemination;
· help build local capacity to improve housing/urban facilities;
· support sustainable growth of SMEs
All of these points contribute positively to job creation, and to building more competitive businesses.
The value of local partnerships in the context of job creation and enterprise promotion should be recognized
? and as pointed out in the IPM Matrix elements, local experience is the fundamental basis for partnership
approaches. All business operations are ultimately ?local? ? with local markets and customers, employees,
communities and neighbors and have much to offer. We have to encourage and learn from such grass roots
voluntary efforts.
Companies in all sectors and of all sizes are involved in partnerships through which they contribute to
building infrastructure that empowers communities worldwide to improve their own lives. To appreciate the
full range of voluntary action underway it is important to look to partnerships that are global in scope, such as
those partnerships that have registered with UN CSD, as well as the thousands of partnerships that are
working at the local level to promote sustainable development goals.
The ICC/UNEP 2002 World Summit Business Awards for Sustainable Development Partnerships recognised
the significant contribution made by 32 leading partnership initiatives. In June 2004, ICC, UNDP and the
International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) presented the World Business Awards (WBAs) in support of
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), recognizing the contribution of business enterprises, in
partnership with other stakeholders, in pursuit of the MDGs: www.iccwbo.org/awards
Partnerships are also the focus of another global award initiative, ?The Seed Awards?, launched by the
UNEP, UNDP and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in association with other groups. The initiative
("Seed = Supporting Entrepreneurs in Environment and Development") is also supported by the United
Nations Global Compact.