What are professionals concerned with in the era of COVID-19?

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, celebrated on October 24, the United Nations Global Compact published the first results of the survey “Have your say. Shape your future. “which is part of a series of dialogues led by the United Nations on the analysis of the real situation in the world and the role of international cooperation in this field.

The survey, which was completed by more than 10,870 business users around the world and more than 600 in Spain, takes place at a time of uncertainty and major transformations: the dizzying advance of climate change, progress important technological developments and even changes in the structure of populations. These, in turn, come with imminent risks such as growing inequalities, long-term conflicts and new forms of violence.

More specifically, according to the results of the survey, users highlight as aspects that the international community should prioritize in order to better recover from the pandemic: the need to give priority to universal access to health, reformulation of the system global economy and addressing climate crises urgently.

The vision of Spanish employees on the world in 2045

In the framework of the survey, the opinion of those questioned about the future of the world, both in a utopian perspective and in a realistic way, takes on an important weight.

In the first case, the Spaniards declare that they would like the world in 2045 to be built on sustainable consumption and production systems and to prioritize the protection of ecosystems and greater respect for human rights. Improving access to healthcare and education is also among the demands of Spanish citizens for the future, which also coincides with the unstable situation in these two areas today due to the pandemic.

However, when asked to take a more realistic approach, half of those surveyed think people will live less well and only 28% think their quality of life will improve. This conviction is accompanied by the consequences of the major global trends identified as the most decisive for the future: climate change and environmental issues with 28% of the votes, health risks (16%) and migration and forced displacement (13 %). Trends that nearly 90% of respondents believe are essential to address urgently.

A call for cooperation between the UN and the private sector to meet the urgent challenges of sustainable development

According to the study, more than 40% of those polled indicate that COVID-19 has changed its mind about cooperation between countries, becoming more favorable to it and only 13% indicate that it is now less favorable. This spirit of cooperation also alludes to the need for the United Nations and the private sector to work together to address the above challenges. Fact supported by 70% of respondents.

In this regard, users also indicate in which areas they would like their business to do more. Climate action and environmental protection are the most important areas, followed by responsible consumption and production and the future of work. An important space is also covered by accountability and transparency.

One of the points considered essential to accelerate progress of the SDGs is to promote collective leadership within the organization, the main theme of the publication “SDG Year 5, Collective Leadership in the 2030 Agenda: a decade for the ‘action’ of the Spanish Global Compact network. This type of leadership encourages the company to convey the message of Agenda 2030 to both all staff and to stakeholders in the company. In this sense, the survey showed that aspects of sustainable development, such as being part of a United Nations initiative such as the Global Compact, are mostly relegated to the departments of sustainability and environment. Thus, only 49.8% of the people questioned knew that their company worked with the United Nations within the framework of the Global Compact.

Finally, respondents also used the survey as an instrument to make their demands visible to both the United Nations and the CEOs of their companies. In the first case, some of the demands they are making at the UN are a greater effort of dialogue with society and between and with the different countries and, above all, an increase in demand for the measures imposed by the organization are respected in member countries through control mechanisms or other verification systems.

In relation to what they ask of their CEOs, Spanish employees consider that the company must, among other actions, provide the necessary resources to meet global challenges, for example by devoting part of its profits to R & D & i in sustainable development. Likewise, they are required to integrate the principles of sustainability into the strategic pillars of the company, as well as an organizational culture that promotes listening and the creation of alliances with other actors.

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