MGT712 Sustainable Development Goals Number 2 Essay

Question:

Learning Outcomes

Comprehend ethical corporate governance theory and demonstrate ethical conduct

Identify and explain corporate governance issues, functions and structures.

Compare and analyse the role of stakeholders and corporate managers’ moral obligations in business decision making.

Apply regulatory requirements to develop appropriate board and committee functions and structures.

Analyse and explain economic, social and environmental sustainability to design and apply to business practice.

Professional communication, both oral and written, of corporate government practice and frameworks.

Answer:

Introduction

The United Nations, founded in 1945 with the primary responsibility of ensuring peace and security internationally. The organization currently consists of 193 member countries and has expanded its roles beyond security. Sustainability Development Goals (SDG’s) are goals of the united nation born in 2012 during a conference held in Rio de Janeiro to discuss sustainable development. The aim of the conference was to develop universal goals that would tackle environmental, political and economic problems facing the world ( Barbier, 2014). The convocation agreed to universally tackle 17 priority challenges to ensure they are rooted out by 2030. These goals include fighting poverty, eliminating hunger, assuring affordable health, quality education, promoting accessibility to clean water among others (Colglazier, 2015). This report focuses on SDG 2: Zero hunger, a goal that focuses on ensuring that the plight of hunger is eliminated worldwide.

To achieve SDG’s there is need for individuals, societies, organizations, governments, and the world at large to adhere to ethics and sustainability principles (Collins, 2012). This involves focusing on long term sustainable benefits instead of short term benefits. The principles of Responsible Management of Education (PRME), a UN supported initiative that promotes sustainability in education by enhancing knowledge of students and the society at large on SDGs, ethics, and corporate governance. In addition to discussing hunger, the report goes ahead to highlight and the governance structure of the United Nations in detail.

Selected Goal: Goal Number 2: Zero Hunger

Hunger is a condition where an individual is unable to take sufficient food that meets his basic nutritional requirements for a sustained period. Between 2002 and 2003, around 15 percent of the world’s population faced the possibility of hunger. The statistic declined to 11 percent between 2014 and 2015 majorly as a result of the sustained effort by the United Nation to fight hunger. Contrastly, in 2016 and 2017, there was an increased prevalence in cases of hunger worldwide in what the United Nations associates with climate change.

The United Nations identified hunger as one of the major challenges that face communities worldwide that requires urgent international intervention. Zero hunger is the second sustainability development goal. It aims at ending hunger, achieving food security, and improved nutrition and promotion of sustainable agriculture by 2030 (Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, 2018). To achieve this goal, sustainable food production systems and effective agricultural practices should be adopted. In addition, International Corporation aimed at building modern infrastructure and technologies that promote agricultural productivity are necessary.

The goal aims to correct and prevent distortions present in the global agricultural markets such as elimination of export subsidies on agricultural commodities. It is believed that, subsidies minimize competitiveness, promote environmental damage, in addition to promoting unequitable benefits distribution (Nilsson, Griggs, and Visbeck, 2016). The benefits of the goal would contribute to making the world a favorable place to live. The suffering of children ailing from danger of malnutrition especially in developing countries majorly in Africa and Asia would be solved. These children face the danger of stunted growth and poor immunity which predisposes them to such as Marasmus and Kwashiorkor.

Justification

No family deserves to suffer from hunger. The world has natural resources which when exploited well using sustainable and innovative best strategies would ensure that every household has food on the table. The United Nations conference therefore, identified a goal that would have great positive impact on many households.

United Nations Corporate Governance

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosures have attracted much attention and research among scholars and practitioners since mid-1970 (Schwartz, 2017). It involves focusing on long term objectives rather than short term goals. In addition, corporate governance includes relationships between various stakeholders. The United Nation enhances corporate governance in many of its activities including UNDP, UNDEF, DPKO, DPA, and OHCH among others. The organization promotes human rights, democracy, and adherence to the rule of law. It operates under a set of core values and principles that promote corporate and sustainability globally. The United Nations Global compact is the major CSR initiative of the Union. It supports companies that are interested in conducting responsible business practices especially in the fields of human rights, environmental conservation, corruption, and labor (Lu et al., 2015). These initiatives contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

Governance Structure

The United Nations consists of six organs namely; general assembly, Security Council, economic social council, secretariat, international court of Justice, and Trusteeship council. The General assembly is provides all member countries with equal representation. It consists of one member from every member country who meet annually in September to discuss international issues such as peace and security, development, and international law. The general assembly runs subsidiary organs funds and programmes (UNDP, UNTAD, and UNEP etc.), facilitate research and training among other functions. The assembly is headed by the president of the general assembly who manages a secretariat and committees. The secretariat run the day to day operations of the assembly. The president chairs meetings of general assembly. The Security Council consists of counter terrorism committee, military staff committee among other committees that help enhance peace and security operations globally. It is also headed by a president. The council presidency is held by council members in turns of one month. The secretariat is made up of the secretary general and other staff. The secretary general is appointed by the general assembly after being recommended by the Security Council.

Non-Executive directors

The five principal organs of the United Nations have an executive director tasked with monitoring of their respective specialized programs. Non-executive directors contribute to the development and design of strategic plans of the organization although they are not involved in the daily operations of the entity.

Executive Directors

The five principal organs of the United Nations have an executive director tasked with monitoring of their respective specialized programs. The specialized programs such as UNDP, FAO, UNCTAD and UNEP also have board of directors. The five principal organs of the United Nations have an executive director tasked with monitoring of their respective specialized programs. Executive directors lead the design, development, and implementation of strategic plans. He is also responsible for running the day to day operations of the organization.

Sub-committees

Sub-committees coordinate activities of respective organizations of the United Nation. Their main role is to promote cooperation between different organizations of the United Nations in formulating and implementing programs.

Stakeholder Maps and Relationships

The stakeholder theory of corporate social responsibility argues that organizations consists of several parties who contribute to the success of the firm in different ways (Wagner, Alves and Raposo, 2011). The management decisions affect different persons in different ways. The United Nations SDGs involve many stakeholders is a joint role of different factions of the United Nations. The United Nations consists of six organs who different roles contribute to the general objectives of the United Nations. The achievement of zero hunger, through sustainable agriculture, food security, and improved nutrition requires concerted effort by the united nation organizations, governments, agriculture experts, researchers, technologists, and farmers. There are a number of United Nations organizations tasked with the role of ensuring that hunger is eliminated by 2030 as per the SDGs.

Food and agricultural organization assists in eliminating hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition globally. The organization believes that the world has sufficient capacity to produce sufficient food that adequately meets the nutritional needs of everyone. Its mandate is to support member countries in their efforts to ensure citizens have regular access to food of high quality (Fan et al., 2018). The organization supports policies and political efforts that are aimed at ensuring food security and nutrition is achieved. In addition, FAO makes information on hunger available so as to support strategic initiatives. FAO commits to make agriculture that includes crop and animal production, fisheries, and forestry highly productive and also sustainable. Ending of rural poverty also ensure that people have the capacity to feed themselves. FAO is also committed to enhancing agricultural and food systems and promoting resilience of households to threats.

The World Food Programme is another important agency that promotes the fight against hunger in the world. WFP majorly provides communities with emergency assistance in form of relief, development aid, and rehabilitation especially in regions where conflicts are experienced. The International Fund for Agricultural Development aims at reducing hunger and malnutrition especially in developing countries (World Health Organization, 2016). The World Bank also actively funds food projects and hence is instrumental in fighting hunger. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) provides advice and implements strategies that would ensure that the environment remains sustainable in food production.

Governments of member countries are responsible for ensuring foods security, nutrition, and health of its citizens. They are therefore important agents in the fight against hunger. They host United Nations agencies such the WFP and FAO and assist them in promoting the fight against hunger locally. Farmers are the center of the Zero hunger SDG goal. They are the recipients of advice and funding from all agencies that promote agriculture and food security. When farmers take up the challenge and use the support provided by the United Nations and their local governments, food security will be achieved.

Principles of Responsible Management of Education Principles

PRME is a resolution by higher education institutions to develop current and future leaders by aligning the curriculum to society goals such as the Sustainable development goals. The institutions also committed to promoting ethical conduct among learners so as to build ethical corporate conduct among managers in the future (Young and Nagpal, 2013). PRME developed six principles that would guide education focused on actual world challenges.

5.1 Purpose

The first principle aims at developing capabilities of learners to be able to assist in developing sustainable value for enterprises and societies and to work towards a sustainable economy. This principle supports SDGs by building a sustainability culture among future leaders (Sroufe et al.,2015). This would enable them to concentrate on long term benefits that would promote food security, environmental conservation and ethical conduct.

5.2 Values

The second PRME principle aims at incorporating values of global sustainability in their academic curriculum in order to support international initiatives including the UN Global Compact. This principle would go a long way in promoting the fight against hunger and other social and economic challenges facing society.

5.3 Methods

The third principle endeavors to develop educational structures, materials, and procedures together with environments that facilitate conducive learning and good leadership. Such learning techniques encourages students and helps them to develop passion towards the fight against challenges that face society. Learning becomes more engaging and practical and hence becomes more impactful. Learners might be asked to research on sustainability issues such as sustainable development goals and present to their fellow students and hence making them understand more the need to adopt sustainability culture in society (Thijssens, Bollen, and Hassink, 2015). Students asked to research and make presentations about Zero hunger SDG would understand that there are still many people in the world today who face the threat of dying from hunger. They would then engage their thoughts in establishing solutions to such perils including gauging the effectiveness of UN initiatives.

5.4 Research

PRME fourth principle mentions the importance research in promoting the understanding of the roles and effect of entities in the generation of a sustainable value. Research is the avenue promotes discovery of new methods of solving the plight of hunger. Research also enables organizations to measure the effectiveness of their initiatives. Research during learning builds an inquisitive habit among students and hence motivating them to find solutions to challenges that face the society (Khan et al, 2012). Most institutions have adopted this principle especially during Masters and PhD level of study. Learners are asked to conduct research and write a thesis or dissertation which requires deep research skills. Learners might collect data in their areas of study and analyze them using statistical techniques with the objective of coming up with insights that would shape decision making.


5.5 Partnerships

The fifth PRME principle highlights the need to build partnerships in promoting practical education. Institutions partners with government, media, corporate sector, civil society and international organizations with the aim of providing students wholesome knowledge on practical issues (Epstein, 2018). Institutions might invite representatives from these entities to share their practical experiences with learners. Through this, students would understand what is expected of them in the society. Also, they would create professional networks and refine their career goals in line with the needs of the society. The achievement of such goals requires the intervention of different participants including governments, UN agencies and beneficiaries. PRME principles endeavor to partner with managers of participating entities to understand the challenges they face in promoting CSR and exploring challenges that face society (Merino and Valor, 2011).

5.6 Dialogue and Debating

Dialogue and debating among learners, corporate managers, media, and the civil society promotes sustainability.PRME commits to promote such debates so as to build the understanding of learners on sustainability issues and promote continuity of good corporate governance. Dialogue among stakeholders interested in fighting hunger in the world enables them to be more cooperative while working towards the achievement of their role. Cooperation among participants reduces the cost of fighting hunger and increases efficiency and impact of their interventions.

6.0 Recommendations

Sustainability development goals are forward looking goals that are aimed at ensuring that the people all over the world live a happy and dignified life. The fight against poverty, hunger, corruption among other SDG goals should be encouraged by all. Hunger results from lack of food for a sustainable period of time. The United Nations objective as envisioned by the sustainability development goals is to fight hunger and ensure that the plights of food insecurity and malnutrition are tackled .This report offers a few recommendations that would ensure that hunger is gotten rid of.

6.1 Align country goals with SDGs

Governments of countries whose citizens are affected by hunger should align their strategic objectives to the fight against hunger among other sustainability development goals (Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, 2018). This would mean that their budgetary allocations would be biased towards agriculture, enterprise development. The allocation of huge share of government budget towards agriculture and enterprise development would facilitate irrigation, fish farming, and livestock farming and reduce dependence on rain-fed agriculture. Governments might also support agriculture by promoting the use of modern technology in agriculture. Modern technologies such as hydroponics, green house technology, and use of machinery in agriculture promote agricultural production and resultantly helping in the fight against hunger. Some countries in the world have successfully achieved food security through adoption of modern technology and increased research in agriculture.

6.2 Periodic Progress Monitoring

The United Nations should periodically monitor its progress in achieving sustainability development goals. Periodic monitoring allows the organization to identify trends and notice challenges that might curtail the achievement of a world of Zero hunger (Fun et al, 2018). In 2016, there was an increase in the proportion of undernourished people in the world from 10.6 % in 2015 to 11% in 2016. The 0.4% increase translates to 38 million more undernourished people in a year amid concerted efforts to fight hunger by different agencies. Monitoring would enable these organizations to consider changing their approach to fight against hunger so as to make the war more impactful. Continuity of such negative trends might lead to failure in the achievement of a world of zero hunger by 2030 as per the United Nations target.

References

Barbier, E.B. (2014) The concept of sustainable economic development. Environmental conservation, 14(2), pp. 101-110.

Colglazier, W. (2015) Sustainable development agenda: 2030. Science, 349(6252), pp. 1048-1050.

Collins, P.D. (2012) Governance and the eradication of poverty: an introduction to the special issue. Public Administration and Development, 32(4-5), pp. 337-344.

Epstein, M.J. (2018). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge.

Fan, S., D?az-Bonilla, E., Cho, E.E. and Rue, C., 2018. SDG 2.1 and SDG 2.2: Why Open, Transparent, and Equitable Trade Is Essential to Ending Hunger and Malnutrition Sustainably. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, p.17.

Khan, M.T., Khan, N.A., Ahmed, S. and Ali, M. (2012) Corporate social responsibility (CSR)–definition, concepts and scope. Universal Journal of Management and Social Sciences, 2(7), pp. 41-52

Lu, Y., Nakicenovic, N., Visbeck, M. and Stevance, A.S. (2015) Five priorities for the UN sustainable development goals. Nature, 520(7548), pp. 432-433.

Merino, A. and Valor, C. (2011) The potential of corporate social responsibility to eradicate poverty: an ongoing debate. Development in Practice, 21(2), pp. 157-167.

Nilsson, M., Griggs, D. and Visbeck, M., (2016) Policy: map the interactions between Sustainable Development Goals. Nature News, 534(7607), p. 320.

Sroufe, R., Sivasubramaniam, N., Ramos, D. and Saiia, D. (2015) Aligning the PRME: How study abroad nurtures responsible leadership. Journal of Management Education, 39(2), pp. 244-275.

Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (2018) Sustainable development Goal 2[online]. Available from: [Accessed: 05/10/2018].

Schwartz, M.S. (2017). Corporate social responsibility: 2nd ed.Abingdon: Routledge.

Thijssens, T., Bollen, L. and Hassink, H. (2015) Secondary stakeholder influence on CSR disclosure: An application of stakeholder salience theory. Journal of Business Ethics, 132(4), pp. 873-891.

Wagner, M.E., Alves, H. and Raposo, M. (2011) Stakeholder theory: issues to resolve. Management decision, 49(2), pp. 226-252.

World Health Organization, 2016. World Health Statistics 2016: Monitoring Health for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). World Health Organization.

Young, S. and Nagpal, S. (2013) Meeting the growing demand for sustainability-focused management education: a case study of a PRME academic institution. Higher Education Research & Development, 32(3), pp. 493-506.

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