21 July 2020
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and UNICEF have today issued a call for enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors to strengthen the response to COVID-19 and enable a resilient and sustainable rebuild from the pandemic.
Entitled “Reimagining the World We Need,” the joint statement leverages the organizations’ respective expertise in the fields of business and children’s rights to set out a common vision to address the economic, health, and societal consequences of COVID-19. To this end, ICC and UNICEF have identified eight concrete areas where enhanced public-private collaboration can ensure a fairer, healthier, and more prosperous world for all.
The call to action responds to growing concerns about the accelerated spread of the virus in several regions and the economic fallout from the pandemic – which, absent of effective interventions, is expected to lead to widespread business foreclosures and an estimated 86 million children falling into poverty this year.
In this context, the recommendations include a call for the immediate elimination of tariff and export curbs on all goods required to mitigate the spread of the pandemic – with the two organizations emphasising the imperative to ensure that COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines are made available for everyone, everywhere.
The call to action also outlines other opportunities for greater public-private sector collaboration, including: the scaling-up of family-friendly workplace policies; developing stimulus measures which channel support into the real economy; bolstering mental health and social protection services; expanding job readiness programmes; and reimagining schooling to enable continued learning opportunities for all children.
On the announcement of the joint call to action, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:
“The very nature of the COVID-19 crisis calls for a response that places public-private cooperation at its very core. We will only be successful in mitigating the worst effects of the pandemic if we break traditional silos and forge partnerships capable of containing the spread of the virus, protecting jobs and supporting families. Our call for global collaboration to protect lives and livelihoods is not simply a moral argument – in an interconnected economy, there will be no recovery from from COVID-19 unless we work together to protect everyone, everywhere.”
UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore said:
“UNICEF and ICC are calling on the public and private sectors to reimagine and rebuild systems and economies that will benefit everyone, including the poorest and most vulnerable children and families. No one entity can do it alone, and we need global solidarity more than ever before to build back better.”
In the coming months, guided by these eight recommendations, ICC and UNICEF will work closely to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sectors at the global level and through their respective networks.
To read the full call to action, please visit: iccwbo.org/reimagining-the-world-we-need.