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Role of the Poor

Millenium Development Goals





Launch of the Creating Value for All Report in Australia


The launch of the Creating Value for All report was organized in Melbourne, Australia, on November 6, 2008, during the Australia’s private inaugural Business for Millennium Development (B4MD) Summit.

Co-hosted by UNDP, AusAid and B4MD, the Summit was opened by the Honorable Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Foreign Minister Smith said, “Since 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have given the international community a focus for its development assistance.”

“Development assistance alone, however, will not be enough. Economic growth remains the only long term solution to poverty. Business will play a key role in advancing that growth. I commend the Australian business leaders attending the B4MD Summit and look forward to working with them towards the achievement of the MDGs,” Mr. Smith said.

Since its inception in 2007, B4MD, a specially formed powerhouse of Australia’s business leaders, has been working with Australian business to profitably extend their core operations into their developing neighbors. B4MD was officially launched at the Summit.

“Business for Millennium Development will provide a leadership forum for Australian business to operate, innovate and grow in true partnership with the developing communities in which they operate,” said Simon McKeon, chairman, B4MD.

“The Australian economy is inextricably linked with those of our neighbors.  Over half of Australia’s international trade is already with developing countries in Asia, and international indicators point to further growth in the region.

Engagement with developing Asian economies offers great opportunity for innovative Australian companies, at the same time as offering hope to the 690 million people living in extreme poverty, defined by the World Bank as living on less than US$1 a day, in the Asia Pacific region,” said McKeon.

The Australian summit follows the UN Private Sector Forum, held in New York as a side event to the September MDG High-Level Event and where the Global Partnership for the Business Call to Action was launched. This Partnership aims to increase momentum and mobilize the efforts of the private sector to support growth in developing countries and contribute to the achievement of the Goals. Companies, that sign up to the Business Call to Action are challenged to develop specific core business initiatives and turn their signatures into concrete action.

“This current economic crisis threatens hard won economic gains and efforts to eradicate poverty in developing countries,’ said Bruce Jenks, UNDP Assistant Administrator. “These countries could be hit twice by the crisis, finding it more difficult to get access to funding and seeing a dramatic drop in exports as the crisis decreases demand. Now, more than ever, these issues need to be dealt with in a multilateral setting and new partnerships need to be developed, including those with the private sector.”

“Whether it is small-scale entrepreneurs or big multinational corporations, the private sector has the technology, the know-how, the flexibility, and the ability to mobilize resources that no one else has, creating a powerful engine for development,” he added.

The Global Partnership for Business Call to Action builds upon the UN’s Global Compact initiative for responsible globalization, which has already brought together 5,000 businesses from more than 130 countries.

Gathering economic and development leaders from the World Bank and the UN, as well as global and local business leaders from KPMG, IBM and ANZ, among others, summit speakers include James Wolfensohn, former president of the World Bank, Jeffrey Sachs, special advisor to the United Nations, Damien Green, head of investment, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Bruce Jenks, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, Deepthi Reddy, Vice President, The Network Enterprises Fund, IFMR Trust (India), Geoff Wilson, CEO, KPMG Australia, among others.

B4MD is supported by its founding members Grey Group, Insurance Australia Group, IBM, KPMG, Visy and World Vision, in addition to the Australian Federal Government through AusAID.


Press coverage

  • Business Day- “Poverty is private sector’s business”, by Bruce Jenks [PDF]