quotes Partnership ecosystems based on SDGs are a way forward for all 

14 May 2022
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Updated 19 May 2022

Partnership ecosystems based on SDGs are a way forward for all 

There was a historic moment in 2015 that inspired hope across the globe when 193 member states of the UN outlined a joint agenda for a better future focused on sustainability.
Sustainable Development Goals were to replace the Millennium Development Goals with the vision to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for everyone by 2030. These global goals provide a common way of thinking so that governments, civil society and the private sector can work together to create a better world by 2030. In fact, when the SDG agenda was adopted, the world stood and applauded.
Fast forward to April 2022, and the goals that seemed within reach in 2015 now appear further away. Threat multipliers such as climate catastrophes, conflicts, pandemics, and economic downturns have redirected concern from the collective to the individual.
We know from the World Health Organization that noncommunicable diseases are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths around the globe. We know from the Food and Agriculture Organization that food security has deteriorated seriously with the number of undernourished people rising to 10 percent of the world’s population, representing over 800 million people. And we know from UNESCO that school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are predicted to cause an irrecoverable 14 percent loss in global gross domestic product across a student’s lifetime. As these and other organizations desperately call for bold action, there are pockets of hope.
At the World Government Summit that was hosted in March at Expo 2020 in Dubai, there were over 4,000 delegates from around the world sharing ideas, policies, programs, operations, problems, and solutions. They listened and learned, debated and thought deeply about how we can move forward with these global goals within and across borders.

One thing is for sure: The scale, scope and complexity of the economic and social transformation to come will be such that no one sector — government, business, civil society, or academia — will be able to manage the transformation alone.

Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar

What is it that we, as a global community, need to do to think and act differently to address the issues that create the conditions that undermine progress? What can we learn from one another, and where are we failing in a world where over 4.5 million people have been displaced from one European nation in less than two months? How can we take our collective values that received a global standing ovation in 2015 when there are now over 82 million people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes? How can we move into positive actions with any level of sincerity when national forces storm a house of worship on a holy evening as a vulnerable group practice their religious rites?
The World Government Summit was the largest event of its kind looking at how to shape future governments. It was appropriate that it was hosted at Expo 2020, where 192 nations united under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” The event demanded greater innovation and creativity from our best minds, and called on the private sector as a part of any sustainable solution.
The role of the private sector was unquestionable, since the major developments in health, alternative finances, space, technology and science are being led by the private sector. By the time governments find their agility to better appreciate the implications of innovations, it is too late. Hence strategic partnerships with the private sector was a repetitive theme when discussing the security of world communities and the provision
of a better future. The reality is that good governance into, and for, a sustainable future necessitates the private sector being embedded as a core part of the solution, rather than a courteous auxiliary companion.
But not any kinds of partnerships. There was a distinct change in the air. There was a call for partnership ecosystems that are purpose-built based on shared values rather than opportunistic deals with short-term vision. There was a call for a partnership ecosystem that reflects equilibrium and relational trust so that we can act in harmony with good intentions across sectors and geographies.
It is through solid relationships that we will innovate together to keep pace with the opportunities and challenges of our times, and those of future generations. If we consider the sustainable development goals as the shared value set upon which we build our partnership ecosystems, we then just might have a way forward and out of these multiple crises and keep ahead of the fast-paced challenges and find solutions that take us all a step closer to the best of our collective humanity.

Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar is the CEO of Abdulla Al-Ghurair Foundation for Education.