First South-South in Action with Private Sector Launched in Thailand

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The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and Siam Cement Group (SCG) launched a South-South in Action publication on 26 August 2019 during the SCG Sustainable Development Symposium. Over 1,600 people participated in the Symposium entitled, “SD Symposium 10 Years-Circular Economy: Collaboration for Action”, marking the tenth anniversary of the SD Symposia. The South-South in Action Publication is entitled, “A Decade of the SCG Sustainable Development Symposia”.

The South-South in Action series of publications provide an opportunity for governments, intergovernmental organisations, multilateral institutions, the private sector and other non-state actors to tell their stories relevant to them with respect to South-South and triangular cooperation. In this publication, SCG, one of the largest private sector companies with interests in cement manufacturing, packaging and chemicals tells its story of how it was inspired by King Rama IX’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) to emerge out of the Asian financial crisis as a stronger and more focused company. The lessons inspired by the King’s teachings also led to the company’s strong focus on sustainable development. SCG went on to become a global leader on sustainable development, winning numerous awards from reputable institutions. This leadership was shared through the Sustainable Development Symposia, eight of which have been convened over the past the decade.

This publication is also significant as it is the first one that UNOSSC has co-published with the private sector. Furthermore, the message that it carries – contrary to the view that expenditure for sustainability may reduce profitability – is that sustainability-focused business operations are the trend of the future. Furthermore, the publication highlights the view that stakeholders will increasingly hold companies to higher sustainable business standards.

The collaboration with SCG was also very important as it came in the aftermath of the Second United High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation, during which Member States called for a multi-stakeholder approach in South-South cooperation, focused on achieving Agenda 2030.