The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) share a strong commitment to support partner countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. The 2030 Agenda is the transformative plan of action for people, planet, prosperity and peace to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development globally.
The EU and the UN play a complementary role within the global development architecture. We are natural and longstanding partners in development cooperation, including at country and regional levels, where the benefits of our collaborative actions and respective comparative advantages are clearly felt.
The ongoing UN reforms, particularly that of the UN Development System, provide an opportunity to reaffirm and build on the EU-UN partnership in development. Within the EU, the new European Consensus on Development frames the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in partnership with all partners.
Partnership is essential for delivering on the 2030 Agenda and achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions (social, economic and environmental). With the 2030 Agenda as our joint blueprint for action, we reaffirm the added value in us working together towards the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda in partner countries. Our joint efforts will continue to be targeted towards eradicating poverty, reducing risks and vulnerabilities, building resilience and addressing inequalities to ensure that no one is left behind.
We support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Paris Agreement), the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai Framework) and other international commitments.
The renewed partnership between the EU and the UN in development aims to foster closer collaboration on common policy approaches and create a more strategic framework for cooperation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in partner countries. We intend to strengthen coordination between EU and UN actors, and work more closely in partnership with all other relevant actors to promote the implementation of agendas that promote inclusive and peaceful societies, resilience and sustainable development.
We aim to advance on strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development as a key priority of our collaboration in advancing the 2030 Agenda. We also aim to advance development effectiveness, in line with the Busan Declaration and the Nairobi Outcome Document.
In the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we envisage to promote open, inclusive, participatory and transparent processes, recognising the important roles of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), including youth-led networks, and of foundations, academia, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), the private sector and other relevant partners as active actors in development. We intend to continue to promote gender equality and women’s and girls' empowerment and support partners harness the demographic dividend of the youth population as overarching priorities.
We fully respect the principles of country ownership, demand-driven partnership and dialogue, recognising that national governments have the primary responsibility for implementing the 2030 Agenda. We should also jointly contribute to raising awareness and ownership of the 2030 Agenda. We reaffirm the importance of multilateralism and strong strategic partnerships as the cornerstone for an inclusive, resilient, sustainable, and secure and peaceful future for everyone.
In this context, we recall in particular the importance of the partnership between the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations.
Through this partnership, we intend to encourage and support partner countries in integrating the 2030 Agenda into their national strategies and priorities.
We intend to jointly promote development strategies that factor in the 2030 Agenda, supporting integrated policies, actions and approaches in partner countries. We envisage aligning our work and financing with country priorities through better planning, regular and inclusive follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This could include greater focus in building capacity in partner countries for data collection and analysis and integrated policy advice to support economic transformation and diversification in partner countries.
We intend to enhance joint policy dialogue and consultation with partner countries to identify opportunities for collaboration and possible areas of support including synergies between EU programming (including joint programming) and the UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs). Where possible, this should be done through existing platforms rather than creating new layers, and by making use of the Joint Fund for the 2030 Agenda to the extent possible. We should also, where appropriate, promote coordination between the UN Resident Coordinators, UN Country Teams and EU Delegations to strengthen synergies and development impact. We envisage exchanges of views about supporting local authorities, communities and CSOs in their role in SDG implementation, as well as on mobilising the private sector.
Strategic Focus and Intent
The renewed partnership concerns, in particular, five focus areas:
a. Promoting gender equality, including plans of action for women's and girls' empowerment at country level. We intend to build upon the experience of the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls, which is an example of innovative EU-UN partnership and supporting the UN's commitment to "delivering as one" in all areas. We intend to promote girls' and women's empowerment, as well as the abandonment of all forms of harmful practices and discrimination against women and girls in a range of areas, such as quality education and training, health, including sexual and reproductive health, better nutritional outcomes, access to productive resources, services and information, and political and economic participation.
b. Fostering inclusive sustainable growth, strategic investment (both public and private) and decent work to promote conditions for improving the quality of employment and increasing decent employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, especially for youth, building on the recent experience with the European External Investment Plan and ongoing efforts of the UN development system. This includes facilitating access to networks, knowledge and skills towards inclusive sustainable economic activity. Emphasis on building resilience and sustainability should be prioritised through support to governments to promote agricultural transformation, to undertake integrated rural development initiatives supported by electrification, and to ensure sustainable development solutions, in a context-specific and tailored approach, including by addressing risks, vulnerabilities, and root causes of crises. We envisage fostering innovation, quality education and training in view of matching skills with labour market needs, improving business environment and investment climate, and triggering and supporting private sector investments in domestic economies of partner countries towards sustainable development pathways, with a focus on decent job creation, value addition, critical physical infrastructure, structural transformation and human capital development.
c. Promoting climate action and implementation through development cooperation, through joint efforts to advocate and operationalise collaborations and commitments towards a low-carbon and circular economy, disaster risk reduction, resilience, and gender-responsive transformation and adaptation, within the context of the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework, in particular, by supporting national level implementation. We intend to work with partner countries, governments, financial institutions, private investors, IFIs, think-tanks and other partners to support transformational climate action. This partnership should contribute to disaster risk reduction and resilience by supporting climate-smart agriculture, accelerating access to renewable energy, reducing water scarcity, promoting nature-based solutions, the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, and developing capacity to prevent and manage natural disasters and climate change vulnerability.
d. Strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus and its linkage to sustaining peace, through continued use of joint assessments, conflict analyses and conflict-sensitive programming and implementation, reinforced collaboration and conflict-sensitive joint action in ‘fragile and conflict-affected settings’, improved early warning mechanisms followed by early action, with a view to help partner countries and their people to prevent, resolve and recover from crises and to reduce human suffering and displacement whilst maintaining different roles, mandates and respecting humanitarian principles. EU-UN joint efforts should address the root causes of conflict and economic and social stability, through institutional strengthening, reducing risks of disasters, stabilisation and support to peacebuilding efforts. They will also seek to advance inclusion of human rights, gender equality and empowerment.
e. Enhancing cooperation on the migration-development nexus, aiming towards the achievement of the migration-related targets of the 2030 Agenda and the commitments taken in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, notably to promote safe, orderly and regular migration. Reinforced and joint efforts by the EU and the UN will contribute to the concrete implementation of the objectives of the two Global Compacts on Migrants and on Refugees at global, regional, national and local level, once these are adopted.
Implementation and Follow-Up
This partnership will vary depending on the specific context, evolution of development situations and the range of national and international partners involved. A flexible and tailored approach will remain the hallmark of an effective response.
We recognise the importance of adequate funding for EU-UN collaboration within the limits of approved financing decisions. We also recognize the diversified nature of financing resources and needs in countries, and intend to pursue our analysis and collaboration in bringing in timely, predictable, sustained, appropriate, and efficient financing instruments.
We reaffirm the importance of Addis Ababa Action Agenda. This partnership will continue to provide the framework for a strategic collaboration, recognizing the critical importance of aligning and leveraging financial resources and jointly building, prioritizing and financing innovative, effective operational responses by all stakeholders within the limits of approved financing decisions. We intend to emphasise efforts towards catalysing innovative financing, leveraging of domestic financing, and private-public partnerships and dialogue with the private sector aiming for private investments in partner countries.
This is a living and flexible partnership that, where and when appropriate, will be adapted to changing circumstances. The leadership of the UN and the EU will meet annually to assess and adapt it where necessary. The technical teams of both organisations will continue to meet regularly to ensure effective implementation of cooperation under this partnership, including by enhancing coordination between the teams at the global, regional and country levels.