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21. August 2018

Presenting the Global Goals Yearbook 2018, with a Focus on Partnerships for the Goals

The future of the United Nations is more uncertain now than at any time before. Like his predecessors, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has promised to reform the United Nations. The drivers are two major agreements: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Accord. Both stand for a move away from statal, top-down multilateralism and toward a new form of partnership between the public and private sectors as well as civil society. But how can these new partnerships for the Global Goals look like? This is the main topic of the Global Goals Yearbook 2018, published under the auspices of the macondo foundation.

Our world is truly not sustainable at this time. To make the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development a success story, we need an enormous increase in effort. This cannot happen without help from the private sector. But businesses need a reason to contribute as well as attractive partnerships that are based on win-win constellations.

We have no alternative but to rethink the role that public–private partnerships can play in this effort. That is why United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is calling upon UN entities to strengthen and better align their private-sector engagement. In every change there is a new chance.

The Global Goals Yearbook 2018 discusses the many aspects of how private-sector engagement can be improved. Recommendations are, among other things, to revise multilateralism, partnership models, and processes as well as to invest more in trust, a failure culture, as well as metrics and monitoring.

When businesses engage in partnerships for the Goals, this is more than just signing checks. It means inserting the “do good” imperative of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into corporate culture, business cases, innovation cycles, investor relationships, and, of course, the daily management processes and (extra-)financial reporting.

The Yearbook includes arguments from academic and business experts, the World Bank, and the Club of Rome, as well as UN entities, among them UNDP, UNSSC, UNOPS, UN JIU, and UN DESA.

A core question concerns financing partnerships.

Sustainable development requires sustainable financing. UN sources estimate the need for financing the SDGs to be from $4 to 4.5 trillion annually. Current annual investments total about $1.5 trillion. So we are talking about an annual investment gap of $2.5 to $3 trillion. To close this gap, financing from private sources is needed, including from capital markets, institutional investors, and businesses. With private-sector engagement, not only does a new player enter the arena, but also new rules are being applied: “Financing” is a fundamentally different concept than the traditional idea of “funding.” It connects the “return on investment” concept with the SDGs. The question is: How do we combine social benefits with profit?

Good practices.

Corresponding to the idea of learning from role models, the Global Goals Yearbook 2018 includes 39 good practices of corporate participants that showcase different approaches to the implementation of the SDGs.

Global Goals Yearbook 2018
Münster 2018: macondo publishing, 172 pages
ISBN: 978-3-946284-05-5

About the Global Goals Yearbook:

The Global Goals Yearbook is a publication in support of the SDGs and the advancement of corporate sustainability globally. It offers proactive and in-depth information on key sustainability issues and promotes unique and comprehensive knowledge-exchange and learning in the spirit of the SDGs and the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. The Global Goals Yearbook helps to advance corporate transparency, promotes the sharing of good business practices, and, perhaps most significantly, gives a strong voice to the regional and global stakeholders that are at the heart of the sustainability agenda.


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21. August 2018

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2017 Yearbook Edition “Sustainability in Troubled Times” Recognized As UN Flagship Publication

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The 2017 edition of the Global Compact International Yearbook, titled “Sustainability in Troubled Times,” was officially recognized as a UN flagship publication at the conference on “Public–Private Partnerships for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (Geneva, April 10 – 13, 2018). Dr. Elmer Lenzen, Chair of the macondo foundation, which is the patron of the Global Goals Yearbook, emphasized in his acceptance speech the significant role that the partnerships between the United Nations and the private sector must play to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Lenzen explained: “Asymmetric alliances and asymmetric partnerships have an enormous potential for both the UN as well as the private sector. But how do they work? Who are the stakeholders? And what does this mean for the UN system and its models for partnership?” These questions and many best practices given in response form the editorial concept of the Global Goals Yearbook, which follows nine successful editions of the Global Compact International Yearbook. There were 305 participants from all over the world who attended the conference, which took place in the Palais de Nations of the UN.

The conference was hosted and chaired by the UN Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and co-organized by the World Association for Sustainable Development. Petru Dumitriu, Inspector of the JIU and Co-chair of the conference, said to those gathered: “We appreciate wholeheartedly the knowledge and enthusiasm you brought to our United Nations house as well as your understanding of, and commitment to, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The conference illustrated the kinds of representation that the UN is striving for: equitable geographical representation, multistakeholder participation (from intergovernmental bodies, the private sector, academia, civil society organizations), gender balance, intergenerational dialogue, etc.

From that perspective, the conference evaluated the partnerships between the UN and the private sector in the context of the 2030 Agenda. Participants explored different means to improve contributions from the private sector toward the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. They also sought ways to generate interest within the private sector to engage in partnerships with UN organizations as well as to improve efficiency in their use of resources.

More details can be found here: http://www.wasd.org.uk/geneva2018/
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