Companies pledge to educate 7 million people in 7 days

KARACHI: “If we don’t act today, our world and our lives will remain under threat,” Unilever Pakistan Limited’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ehsan Malik said in a press conference on Friday, pledging they would reach 7 million people in the next seven days and educate them about United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

The conference brought to an end a day-long roundtable dialogue, led by Unilever Pakistan and Standard Chartered, on Pakistan’s role in implementing UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country. The two companies, along with their partners, joined hands to support and endorse Project ‘Everyone’, a global initiative aimed at raising awareness of the SDGs by reaching seven billion people in seven days.

“The SDGs are aimed at improving lives, which is also the objective behind Unilever products,” Malik said, adding they would like to use their customers’ brand loyalty to put the message across.

Earlier on, while giving background, the officials from Unilever and Standard Chartered informed the audience that the SDGs were built on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) launched in 2000, which helped set global and national priorities and fuel action against the many social challenges in countries around the world.

The SDGs aim to build and continue on the goals set by the MDGs to ensure the health, safety and future of the planet, they said.

For Project Everyone, the UN has set 17 goals for everyone on planet earth. Some of these SDGs include access to quality education, clean water, proper sanitation and energy; elimination of inequality, injustice and extreme poverty and tacking climate change.

“Pakistan is facing almost all of these problems,” Standard Chartered Pakistan CEO Shahzad Dada said of the UN’s global goals.

Referring to the dialogue earlier in the day, Dada said they had narrowed down these goals into three broad categories: fighting inequality and injustice, ending extreme poverty and tackling climate change. “These problems are deep rooted in our country and we will address them collectively,” he said.

Briefing the media about the roundtable, the officials said the day-long event brought together experts from across the public, private and development sectors to develop actions for the implementation of the UN’s SDGs in Pakistan.

Over the course of the day’s dialogue, partners provided an outline of the progress made in Pakistan and discussed the effort needed to shape political and business policies in the country for the successful implementation of the SDGs over the next 15 years.

As wide spectrum of organisations supported Unilever and Standard Chartered by making commitments to create awareness for the Global Goals in Pakistan, it added.

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