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National Roundtable on the Role of the Canadian Private Sector in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals

Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact were pleased to co-host a National Roundtable with the theme “Building a Shared Understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of Canadian business in advancing action on the Goals”. Held in Toronto on February 8, 2016, high-level panelists were invited to share their reflections on how the Canadian private sector can play a role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. This panel was then followed by an "armchair-style discussion".


The focus of this event was on the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, which world leaders endorsed in September 2015 at the United Nations. These goals establish important milestones for the international community ‎to reduce poverty and inequalities. Their implementation will require a collaborative effort between governments, civil society and the business community. The event was intended to enhance the Canadian private sector’s understanding of the SDGs and plant the seeds for future initiatives among Canadian companies to implement them.

This event also sought to foster partnerships between Canadian companies and other organizations, and the formation of public-private partnerships to benefit trade and development.

The event was open to the public and simultaneously webcast across Canada. Its objective was to engage a cross-section of Canadians, including the private sector, government, academia, civil society and First Nations.

Webcast Recording

To access the webcast recording please fill out the form below. 

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Event Brief and SDGs Survey Report

Thank you for your interest in learning about how the Canadian Private Sector can help advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Supplementary to the National Roundtable on the Role of the Canadian Private Sector in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, the event brief showcases emerging best practices from across Canada. It further captures and inscribes the development of views and priorities of Canadian businesses and organizations responding to the yearly Global Compact Network Canada SDGs Survey.

Distinguished Guests

Karina Gould, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development  was this event's keynote speaker.

Introductions were by MC, Helle Bank Jorgensen, President of Global Compact Network Canada and Elissa Golberg, Assistant Deputy Minister, Partnerships for Development Innovation at Global Affairs Canada:

We were also pleased to announce the following panelists:

     John Coyne                  Tara Nathan                Huguette Labelle            David Creighton
VP Legal & External       Executive Director              former Chair                  Deputy Chair,  
 Affairs and General           of 
MasterCard               of Transparency              Cordiant Capital
Counsel of                                                           International                                   
Unilever Canada Inc.                                                                                                                

Karina Gould
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Karina Gould, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development.

Karina Gould is a trade and investment specialist and community activist with deep roots in her hometown of Burlington.

Karina fuelled her passion for public service and international development by spending a year volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico. As a student at McGill University, she served as president of the Arts Undergraduate Society, and organized a $20,000 fundraising campaign for victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. That same year, she began working as a consultant to the Migration and Development Program at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.

After completing her master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Oxford, she moved back to Burlington, where she worked as a trade and investment specialist for the Mexican Trade Commission.

Karina has been an active member of her community. She is a member of the Oxford Cambridge Society of Toronto, and has volunteered at the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club, and as the social media coordinator for the Mississauga Furniture Bank.


Elissa Golberg
Assistant Deputy Minister, Partnerships for Development Innovation, Global Affairs Canada

Elissa Golberg was named Assistant Deputy Minister – Partnerships for Development Innovation at Global Affairs Canada in February 2015.

As a career foreign service officer, Ms. Golberg has successfully pioneered complex policy initiatives and led multi-disciplinary teams working on significant international peace and security, human rights, and emergency management challenges. From 2011 to 2015, Ms. Golberg served as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and to the Conference on Disarmament (2011-15). Some of her recent previous roles have included Director-General of the Canadian Government’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (2009-11); Representative of Canada in Kandahar, Afghanistan (2008-9); Executive Director of the Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan (“the Manley Panel”) at the Privy Council Office (2007-8); and Director - Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response Division (2005-7).

Born in Montreal, Ms. Golberg holds a Master’s degree in International Relations, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. She is a recipient of the NATO ISAF General Service medal, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Public Service Award of Excellence, and 3 Ministers’ Awards for Foreign Policy Excellence. She has been named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and is a member of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Violence and Fragility. She has published articles on humanitarian and fragile state-related matters.


Helle Bank Jorgensen
President, Global Compact Network Canada

Helle Bank Jorgensen is the president of Global Compact Network Canada, the Canadian chapter of the world's largest Corporate Responsibility Initiative. Building on a background as a Business Lawyer and a State Authorized Public Accountant, Helle brings over 25 years of experience advising global companies and investors within Corporate Responsibility and Reporting. She has led PwC’s Sustainability and Climate Change practices in Denmark and the US, hereof 11 years as a partner. She is an author of thought-leading articles and books and has served on multiple boards. Helle is also the first in North America to have passed the GRI G4 Exam.

John D. Coyne
Vice President, Legal & External Affairs and General Counsel Unilever Canada Inc.
John has been with Unilever Canada since 1992. He is a member of Unilever Canada’s board of directors as well as the Canadian Leadership Team, and is also chair of the company’s Pension Committee.

John is well known for his leadership in corporate sustainability. He is a passionate activator of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, designed to help Unilever deliver its objective of growing the business while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive contribution to society. John is Executive Chair of the Board of Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance, Inc. and is a director of Evergreen. In addition, John is co-chair of the Partners in Project Green steering committee, a major environmental initiative of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. He is also director and past Chair of Stewardship Ontario. In 2013 John was recognized for his leadership in corporate sustainability by being named by Clean 50 as one of Canada’s top sustainability leaders. Last year, John was appointed as a member of the Ontario Government’s Climate Action Group advising the Ontario Minister of the Environment on effective climate change actions that will help Ontario meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals and transition to a prosperous, low-carbon economy.

John also works closely with industry groups and other organizations. He is Chair of the board of Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation and is director and past Chair of the Association.

Finally, John was instrumental in getting Unilever Canada to be a founding member of the UNGC in Canada.


Tara Nathan
Executive Director, International Development, MasterCard

Tara Nathan is executive director for International Development at MasterCard. In this role, she leads partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development organizations, international financial institutions, corporate foundations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to leverage payments technology to make advances in the areas of financial inclusion, humanitarian response, government transparency and economic formalization.

The International Development team innovates and brings to market new solutions that serve the needs of the unbanked and underserved, and furthers MasterCard’s strategy to accelerate market transitions from cash to electronic payments.

Prior to this role, Ms. Nathan served as chief executive officer of Mobile Payment Solutions, a MasterCard/Smart Hub, Inc. joint venture. In this role, she led the innovation and commercial development of the MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway, an open mobile payment processing platform designed to facilitate mobile payments for consumers around the world, particularly important for consumers in emerging economies who do not have access to modern forms of commerce. Under her leadership, MPS grew from a fledgling start-up to establish market presence in ten countries around the globe.

Before joining MasterCard, Ms. Nathan headed Citigroup’s cross-sell business. In this capacity, she oversaw business strategy, product development and innovation, business development, multi- channel sales, and existing customer management and operations. Ms. Nathan also held various management roles across Citigroup’s retail banking business including Commercial Banking, Risk, and Operations.

Prior to joining MasterCard, Ms. Nathan was a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service serving posts in Taiwan, Japan and China. Ms. Nathan serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Humanitarian Response and is on the Board of Directors for The After School Corporation (TASC), a non-profit organization that partners with communities to equalize educational opportunities for all children via comprehensive after-school programs in major cities. She earned a BSFS from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.

Huguette Labelle, C.C., Ph.d., LL,D
Former Chair of Transparency International

Huguette Labelle has served for a period of nineteen years as Deputy Minister of different Canadian Government departments including Secretary of State, Transport Canada, the Public Service Commission and the Canadian International Development Agency. A former Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, former Chair of transparency International and former Board member of the UN Global Compact. She has also served on several additional boards.

She is currently Chair of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments, Chair of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, Vice-Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation Board, Vice-Chair of the International Senior Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy, member of the Advisory Group to the Asian Development Bank on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, member of the Executive Board of the Africa Capacity Building Foundation, member of the Board of the Global Centre for Pluralism, Board member of Global Financial Integrity, Board member of the Aga Khan Museum, member of the Advisory Committee of the Order of Ontario and Chair of the Selection Committee for Master's Scholarships on Sustainable Energy Development. She provides advisory services to national and international organizations.

David Creighton
Deputy Chair, Cordiant Capital

Mr. Creighton is co-founder and now Deputy Chair of Cordiant Capital Cordiant. He is also Senior Advisor of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association.

Founded in 1999, Cordiant is a manager of private sector investments in emerging market. With more than USD 2.4 billion in capital subscriptions across six emerging market debt and equity funds, Cordiant counts amongst its clients some of the world’s largest institutional investors. Cordiant has been investing
across the emerging markets for over a decade.

David Creighton is a champion of Blended Finance, which promotes the strategic use of public and philanthropic funds to mobilize private capital for development. In this case, public funds include grants and concessional finance from development agencies and non-concessional funds from development finance institutions and export credit agencies. Mr. Creighton also supports Convergence and he has agreed to serve as a director to select the CEO and to guide the organization during its first few years. He receives no remuneration for these Blended Finance/Convergence positions. The Minister is aware of these arrangements as both were at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development together.

Mr. Creighton was considered among the top three candidates to be the first Chair of Convergence, given his three-decades-plus experience in the fields of international capital markets, fund management, financial engineering and securitization. His career has taken him to New York and London where, as Vice President and Director, he developed and managed the international fixed income sales team for BMO Nesbitt Burns. During his 13 years at the helm, offices were opened in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing. He is a director AC Water Canada, Chairman of the Investment Committee of the BCS Foundation, and past chairman of the Canada / South Africa Chamber. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and he travels extensively.

Mr. Creighton is an 
graduate of the University of Guelph, where he studied Agricultural Economics, and a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D, November 2007). He guest lectures at McGill University and is a frequent speaker at conferences and in the media on matters relating to the Emerging Markets.

Since 2011, he has been involved with Global Affairs in its Infrastructure Advisory Group.


2:30-3:00: Doors open | Registration | Networking


Keynote Speech:
Karina Gould, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development


Event Sponsors

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