Mr. Thomas Gass Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs

Multi-stakeholder Partnerships and the 2030 Agenda: How to improve and review their contributions

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for joining me at this important dialogue.

Allow me to express my gratitude to the Permanent mission of Germany, and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs for co-organizing this dialogue, on the margins of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

“We the Peoples” are the celebrated opening words of the UN Charter. It is also “We the Peoples” who have embarked on the road to implementing the 2030 Agenda.

This journey involves Governments, the entire UN system and other international institutions, local authorities, indigenous peoples, civil society organizations, business and the private sector, the scientific and academic community, faith-based organizations, and many others – indeed, all the people.

The 2030 Agenda itself is very much a success of partnerships – which resulted from the most inclusive policy dialogue the United Nations has ever organized – with all governments, all parts of society and – all people.

We are, today, at year one of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Governments have emphasized that a robust, voluntary, effective, participatory, transparent and integrated follow-up and review framework would make a vital contribution to implementation. That it would promote accountability to citizens, support active international cooperation in achieving the Agenda, and foster exchange of best practices and mutual learning.

The HLPF will have a central role in overseeing a network of follow-up and review processes at the global level. It facilitates sharing of experiences, provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations for follow-up. It is a platform for partnerships. These activities that frame the HLPF will ensure that the 2030 Agenda remains relevant and ambitious.

I also draw your attention to another important piece of the overall picture in the global review process – the first report by the Secretary-General on “Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals”. This report provides a global overview of the current situation regarding the SDGs on the basis of the latest available data for indicators in the proposed global framework.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 2030 Agenda emboldens us to work through partnerships that embrace relevant stakeholders.

Multi-stakeholder partnerships have been with us for a long time. We’ve learned many lessons, and we have learned how to make them work better for development.

The Agenda points to the need to engage various civil society actors in reviewing SDG progress, and to track initiatives and progress outside the government. The inputs from non-governmental sectors would ultimately need to be fed back into the review process.

Going forward, our partnerships also need to be aligned with the 2030 Agenda.

How do we best review the contribution from multi-stakeholder partnerships in supporting the SDGs? How do we ensure that it is aligned with the global review process, and also making sure no one is left behind?

Firstly, the 2030 Agenda shifts the accountability from recipient–donor, to state–people. Our partnerships therefore need to strengthen the relationship between duty-bearers and rights-holders.

Secondly, our partnerships must ask “who is left behind”. They must help in identifying the most vulnerable, and in building their resilience.

And third, the 2030 Agenda is about reducing inequalities and levelling the playing field. Our partnerships must work to spread risk more fairly, so that the most powerful partners do not relegate risk to the most vulnerable.

Our distinguished panellists around this table bring rich and diverse perspectives and experience on this issue.

I look forward to an enriching dialogue.

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