Sustainable development

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed reminded the world of the urgency of meeting the 2030 agenda of sustainable development goals during the 2019 ECOSOC Partnership Forum.

She spoke in the forum filled with the world governments, business representatives and other influencers, “climate change is ravaging the planet… staggering numbers of children and youth – especially girls and young women – still lack access to basic education and healthcare services, [and] people in many countries are starved of economic opportunities, decent work, and social protection measures.”

“Our task is immense, but many of the pathways to change are in plain sight”, she asserted, adding that while “success is still possible”, it requires difficult conversations around “the need to fill partnership skillset gaps, tackle financing shortfalls, and address data deficiencies”.

Ms. Mohammed stressed on the need to integrate a joint effort through partnerships and collaborations to achieve the required set of goals of sustainable development.

“Partnerships are critical for achieving progress across the full agenda” stressed Ms. Mohammed, calling SDG 17 on partnerships, “the ‘connective tissue’ which will ensure an integrated and holistic approach to sustainable development”.

She pointed out four points for discussion. First, an integrated approach from the UN, private sector, world governments and society to work together.

“The transformation we need requires us to acknowledge that everyone is a development actor,” she argued. “Governments alone cannot achieve the SDGs”.

The second point focussed on investments in platforms containing a big number of partners.

“Investments in cross-cutting, high-return priorities have strong potential to unlock progress across multiple SDGs”, she stated addressing the need to quality education and health services to zero-carbon energy and environmental conservation.

The third point was to focus on leadership, innovation and strategic collaborations at the local level. “We must draw on the knowledge and experience of local communities and actors on the ground to ensure that we replicate and scale up the most promising models”, she said.

Socializing the SDGs and strengthening ownership was the fourth and last point. “All stakeholders, big or small should find a place to play their role and make their contribution”, she mentioned.

Lastly, the UN deputy general secretary emphasized on the importance of young people, particularly women and entrepreneurs, which are at the forefront of SDG progress, she concluded: “Let’s make sure we listen carefully to their vision and draw inspiration from their determination and commitment to creating a better world”.

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