Diverse partnerships key to solving sustainable development challenges, UN forum told

ECOSOC discusses ‘Partnering for Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development.’ UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

24 April 2013 – The United Nations is looking to harness the benefits of science, technology and innovation to create jobs, end poverty, reduce inequality and address other challenges in sustainable development, senior officials today told UN partners in a special event during the 1,000 Days of Action for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

“I appreciate this opportunity to discuss the overarching global challenge of sustainable development – and how we can bring all partners together to advance this cause,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks at the UN Headquarters in New York entitled ‘Partnering for Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development.’

The special ECOSOC event is organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Office for Partnerships, the UN Global Compact and the Global Partnerships Forum.

The event brought together these bodies as well as Member States, the private sector, foundations and civil society to boost efforts towards reaching the MDGs by the target deadline and to promote thinking on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

“Technological learning and innovation capacity is critical to enable the provision of essential amenities to all and is therefore fundamental to ensuring overall sustainable development,” Néstor Osorio, president of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) said in his opening remarks.

“The absence of such capabilities results in limitations to application of existing technologies in all sectors, including those of public importance such as health, education, agriculture and climate change, to name but a few,” Mr. Osorio continued.

He noted that the messages emerging in today’s meeting dovetail with the key outcomes of yesterday’s ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum special policy dialogue on private philanthropic foundations in the post-2015 setting.

“To achieve robust development results in future, a renewed global partnership for development must embrace diversity and recognize the roles of all stakeholders, including those of philanthropic organizations,” Mr. Osorio said to that group.

Today’s event features policy dialogues held in the morning and “partnerships clinics” in the afternoon focusing on potential solutions to development challenges facing Africa, as well as a keynote address from Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which awards a prize for good governance and leadership in Africa.

Given the importance of partnerships in the UN’s work, Mr. Ban announced today that he will propose the creation of a new UN Partnership Facility “to capture the full potential for partnership.”

“The Facility would help us deliver at scale – globally and at country level– across the range of UN mandates, goals and values,” Mr. Ban said. He added that the UN agencies, funds, programmes and departments would continue to conduct the majority of related activities, but the Facility would strategically and systematically fill in any gaps, as well as build and strengthen partnership services.

The recommendations from today’s events will be presented to ECOSOC’s high-level ministerial meeting in July.


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Debt crises hitting both rich and poor countries threaten UN development agenda, officials say

Related Stories





More videos »


In-depth Interviews