September - SDG no. 16 “Peace, justice and strong institutions”

To promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels should always be a goal.

SDG no. 16 is the last of the 8 SDG’s Mazars has decided to actively focus on as part of our CSR strategy. Even though it is the last in line, it is certainly not less important.

On the one hand, businesses and societies thrive in peaceful environment with stable and strong institutions. On the other hand, conflicts, violence, and corruption undermine the rule of law and may result in uncertainty and risks. There is a need for accountable governance and compliance with laws and regulations. Societies and communities can be very different around our planet. Likewise, our preconditions for how we define and frame, ditto. However, we have basic perceptions of peace and justice.

Violence and insecurity can have devastating consequences on a country’s development as well as its economic growth. Countries must implement measures to protect the ones that are in need and ensure human rights during the process.

Our role in this is to enforce the law and minimize risk of money laundering, anti-bribery, and corruption in corporations. We interact with many associates every day and therefore must have integrity and take responsibility in case we come across any suspicious activity. As an independent certified audit firm, we do act as a representative of the public and are to be trusted.

In Denmark, a lot has happened in relation to this SDG during the last few years.

In 2018, a new Anti-Money Laundering Directive was implemented, and it received a lot of attention. With good reason, as economic crimes have increased rapidly, almost a daily story in the local news. Refining their IT and innovation skills criminals are becoming more and more cunning, and we must watch out for threats to achieve SDG no 16 in all countries. At Mazars the Conflict checks and Anti-Money Laundering procedures and tools is an easy way to align the actions needed and mainstream how a global audit business organisation can work together.

Following a series of scandals over money laundering, fraud and other breaches of EU law, in which whistleblowers have played crucial roles in the revelations, in October 2019, the European Parliament adopted the so-called Whistleblower Directive. The Whistleblower Directive means that Danish entities with 50 or more employees must have a whistleblower scheme.

Mazars has set a platform of values for what we believe will build long term sustainable success for the organisation. We want to work in a way that promotes our values and ensures we provide the best possible service for our clients, and the best possible environment for our teams. In 2018, Mazars published the Employee Whistleblowing procedure for all partners and staff at Mazars. This whistleblowing policy provides a mechanism for team members within each firm to raise genuine concerns, whilst offering protection from victimisation, harassment or disciplinary proceedings for those who do so.

Mazars is committed to dealing responsibly, openly, and professional, and takes a genuine interest in what we and our governance are doing. We raise awareness in our communities about the realities of assault and the importance of peaceful and just societies. We identify how we can pursue the SDGs in our daily lives. The SDGs aim to significantly reduce all forms of assault, and work with governments and communities to end conflict and insecurity.

Promoting the rule of law and human rights are key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance. Yet, all countries have work to do!