Q. What are Partnerships for Sustainable Development?
Non-negotiated partnerships and initiatives to implement Agenda 21 are an
important element of the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable
Development. The partnerships need only be agreed by those, directly involved,
who commit themselves to taking the partnerships forward and making them a
success. They complement the WSSD Programme of Implementation and help
translate the commitments into action.
Q. What is the purpose of Partnerships for Sustainable Development?
Partnerships enable all stakeholders to make a concrete contribution to the
outcomes of the WSSD. They are expected to improve the quality of
implementation by involving those stakeholders whose activities have direct
impact on sustainable development. The need to actively engage these actors in
implementation has become more pressing in view of the changes brought by
globalization. These Partnerships provide an effective vehicle to promote
sustainable development in a globalizing world.
Q. Are these partnerships meant to provide a substitute for actions and
commitments by governments?
No, certainly not. There is no substitute for governmental action. Commitments
by governments are the corner stone of national, regional and global efforts to
pursue sustainable development. Agenda 21 is a testimony to that fact. However,
to pursue the goals of Agenda 21 in a global setting that is considerably
different from 1992 there is a need to broaden and strengthen the role of major
groups in implementation. The Partnerships are meant to supplement and not to
supplant actions and commitments by governments. Governments recognised and
encouraged the relevance of partnerships for sustainable development by
referring to them 46 times throughout the WSSD Programme of Implementation.
Q. How will the Partnerships for Sustainable Development be governed or
managed? Who will run or own them?
The Partnerships are governed by the partners themselves through a mutually
agreed mechanism. The governance mechanisms may vary from partnership to
partnership. These structures could be built along the lines of existing
partnerships like the Global Alliance on Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI), the
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), or the
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) etc. These partnerships are owned
and run by the partners themselves.
Q. How are the partners selected?
These are voluntary initiatives. There is no formal selection process.
Interested parties can get together and launch implementation initiatives to
achieve the goals of sustainable development.
Q. How are the partnerships for sustainable development selected? Are there
criteria for selection?
An informal consultative process, that took place during the Fourth Preparatory
Committee meeting to the WSSD (PrepCom IV), defined a set of guidelines for
qualifying a proposal as a Partnership for Sustainable Development. There are
no strictly defined criteria for selection. However, there are certain basic
requirements that each partnership is expected to fulfil. Such partnerships
should be regional or international in their scope. They should clearly define
their targets, expected results and timeframe, arrangements for funding,
monitoring arrangements, coordination and implementation mechanisms. And they
should be new or substantially enhanced proposals to link to the WSSD outcomes.
Each Partnership initiative is checked against these
guiding principles before it is posted on the WSSD website.
Q. How will the performance of partnerships be monitored or reviewed? What
will be the accountability mechanism to ensure that partnerships are
contributing to the goals of sustainable development?
Partnerships will be self-governing bodies with their own accountability
mechanisms. It is expected that all Partnerships for Sustainable Development
will have effective monitoring mechanisms to evaluate their performance. They
are supposed to review their performance against the goals that they set for
themselves. However, as they are also part of the implementation process in the
post-Johannesburg phase, proposals will be further elaborated as to how to
integrate the actions emanating from the partnerships with the work of the for
Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).
Q. Are there any themes or areas specified for initiating these
No. Partnerships can be launched on any area related to sustainable
development, particularly the implementation of Agenda 21. Partnerships
developed thus far for WSSD address all critical areas of sustainable
development in all regions of the world. A considerable amount of funding and
resources has been committed in a rather short time, and much more will be
mobilized by these investments. While many partnerships are still evolving and
require more partners and funding, the concept is attracting great interest
from most stakeholders. It is therefore important to build on the momentum
created by the Summit. Partnerships can make an important contribution to the
implementation of sustainable development at all levels.
Q. Can I still submit a partnership for sustainable development?
There is no deadline for the submission of partnership for sustainable
development, as it is an ongoing process. Contact Ms. Monika Linn, at e-mail
Linm@un.org after having