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The role of partnerships beyond 2015

8 April 2014, New York

International Day of Peace celeberation in Juba.

Strengthening the global partnerships for sustainable development for the post-2015 development agenda will be the main topic of a thematic debate and Forum on Partnerships  jointly convened by the President of the General Assembly Mr. John Ashe, and the President of the Economic and Social Council, Mr. Martin Sajdik which will take place from 9 to 10 April at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The thematic debate and forum on partnerships will feature three consecutive, interactive, multi‐stakeholder panel discussions on 9 April 2014 and two on 10 April. The event is being organized by UN DESA in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the UN Global Compact.

Building on MDGs moving forward

As the Secretary General’s High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda has noted, an important transformative shift going forward is to bring a new sense of global partnership into national and international politics.  A new global partnership should engage national governments of all countries, local authorities, international organizations, businesses, civil socirty, foundations and other philantropists, and people.  It should move beyond the MDG’s orientation of state-to-state partnerships.

“Together, nothing is impossible; if we strengthen these partnerships among governments, business communities, civil organizations and philanthropists, then I think all these powerful partnerships can bring us towards the right direction,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the beginning of his second term in office.

“Together, nothing is impossible; if we strengthen these partnerships among governments, business communities, civil organizations and philanthropists, then I think all these powerful partnerships can bring us towards the right direction”

UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon

Strengthened global partnerships for sustainable development will be a catalyst for the international community to aspire and advance towards an ambitious and transformative sustainable development agenda beyond 2015. The thematic debate and forum on partnerships will promote the scaling‐up of the impact of all forms of cooperation in the post 2015 development agenda, and promote the urgent implementation of existing commitments under the global partnership for development while also addressing the emerging role of innovative multi‐stakeholder partnerships.

Member States will participate, including at Ministerial level, alongside senior representatives of private sector companies, UN agencies, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders.

The two-day event is expected to generate innovative policy ideas and models for multi-stakeholder partnerships that can contribute to the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. The Presidents of the General Assembly and ECOSOC will issue a summary at the conclusion of the event which will be made available to the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing.

Addressing the role of innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships

In the effort to achieve the MDGs, partnerships among various groups and stakeholders have played a critical role. New partnership models have emerged, motivated by the sense of urgency of the MDG deadline, which have created innovative sources of financing, in addition to the official development assistance and trade. Novel uses of technology, capacity building, and engagement with low-income members of society have helped increase access to basic services. The panel debates will discuss how to further leverage these innovative approaches in the conclusion of the MDG process, as well as in the delivering on the post-2015 development agenda.

The role of private sector, civil society and philanthropy has grown significantly in its size and reach. These actors will have a critical role to play in bringing the innovative methods and tools to the task of creating decent employment and strengthening the use of funding and research. In the panel discussions, member states will have a chance to explore the role of the private sector in the development agenda.

Monitoring and accountability

One of the most common explanations for gaps in MDG achievement is the lack of effective framework. Challenges in establishing consistent mechanisms for monitoring and accountability come from the diverse nature of partnerships and partners. The architecture of this framework will need to be flexible and adaptable enough in order to accommodate the variety of actors with the development agenda.

In order to better understand these issues, participants will share their experiences and lessons learned. While focusing on development, these sessions will also attempt to address gender, human rights and peace-building issues.

Finding solutions, delivering outcomes

The second day of the two-day event will focus on linking the policy discussions on innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships, monitoring and accountability with specific concrete solutions and outcomes. In the course of that discussion, special focus will be on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs). One of the major issues to be discussed will be food security, nutrition and marine resources. In this area, partnerships can provide indispensable science, technology, financing and capacity building in order to address the problems of food security.

In order to deliver solutions, the core component in sustainable development is reliable infrastructure. Without its physical components, such as roads, railways, ports, communication and technology, water and waste management systems, development efforts are severely hindered. This is especially relevant for a certain group of vulnerable countries, such as small islands and landlocked developing countries. These are faced with serious transportation infrastructure problems, which result in high transit transportation costs.

The outcome of the event is expected to provide ideas and information for the coming major conferences, such as the SIDS conference in September in Samoa, the Ministerial conference on New Partnerships for Development of Productive capacities of LDC in July in Benin and the Comprehensive Ten-Year Review Conference of the Almaty Programme of Action to be held 3-5 November 2014 in Vienna, Austria.

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