After the post-2015 summit in New York in September 2015 and the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July 2015, and while the United Nations Conference on Climate Change COP21 is taking place in Paris, decision makers, the private sector and civil society actors from the global South and North come together in Luxembourg to discuss ways to strengthen global partnerships in order to successfully implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework.
The SDGs have been developed through an unprecedented process of stakeholder involvement. Implementing such a far-reaching agenda presents a complex challenge but also a unique opportunity to redefine and strengthen the way the global community with all its stakeholders work together. In order to deliver the post-2015 agenda, an equal, fair and innovative multi-stakeholder partnership for poverty eradication and sustainable development is required.
The word ‘partnership’ assumes a joint initiative between two or more equal participants. It presumes that participation is transparent and equitable and benefits all parties. In the context of development cooperation, ‘partnerships’ have been criticized for their sometimes unequal nature. On the one hand, the expressed interests of communities of poor and discriminated populations are often the most marginalized in ‘inclusive’ partnership arrangements. On the other hand, the international private sector has access to global political influence, local patronage, levels of resources and multilateral agreements that allow it to shape domestic regulatory regimes, distort national development priorities and avoid local accountability.
There is no “one size fits all” approach for this multi-stakeholder partnership to succeed and a central challenge seems to revolve around nurturing of a working relationship based on trust, mutual respect, open communications and understanding among stakeholders about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For the goal of eradicating poverty a new global partnership will have to bring a new transformative spirit of solidarity and cooperation. The post-2015 development framework must acknowledge and address structural issues, and a renewed post-2015 global partnership must be capable of meeting the urgent challenges of a world at the crossroads of ecological, political and socio-economic crises.
This high-level event aims to contribute to the debate into how to engage and create innovative and dynamic, fair and equal partnerships (Goal 17). Opportunities and risks for enhancing the role and effectiveness of multi-stakeholder partnerships will be explored.