Partnerships Pave the Way for our Collective Roadmap

Showing remarkable consensus in a period of uncertainty and of questioning the multilateral system, last year our global leaders adopted the most ambitious set of new policy frameworks that form our collective roadmap for the future: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing for development, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The 2030 Agenda is an organizing principle for the interrelated frameworks, a universal blueprint to leave our planet in good shape for the generations to come.

This agenda is like nothing we have seen before. The goals are universal, indivisible, inclusive and integrative. Today, we all agree that we can no longer afford to tackle poverty, climate change, environmental degradation, or any of the 17 goals in isolation. We need to 'Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development,' as decided in Goal 17, or, put more simply, International Solidarity needs to be rekindled.

Partnerships will cement the foundation to take forward all the goals. The United Nations is increasingly becoming a facilitator, and whoever has the best competitive advantage, national or municipal governments, civil society, or business, will drive implementation. This also means that closer coordination and information exchange are needed.

Geneva is a small city with huge impact. The DNA of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is found in international Geneva, which is to international development what Silicon Valley is to Internet start-ups. It is a global operational hub for international development.

Geneva has a unique concentration of actors, knowledge and resources; the United Nations, many other international organizations, over 400 non-governmental organizations, think tanks, academia and business. This is something the world should have on its radar.

In fact, we have an SDG Radar. In light of the goals we have set out for our collective future, the role of International Geneva in the service of the world for peace, rights and well-being is bound to grow.

This did not happen overnight. The construction of this ecosystem has been taking place since the foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863. The ecosystem that forms international Geneva today includes global players in diplomacy, health, trade, human rights, humanitarian action, telecommunications, intellectual property, labour rights, disarmament and migration. But what makes this ecosystem even more unique are the growing synergies that are created between all of these actors.

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Let me give you a few examples: the International Labour Organization is a part of Alliance 8.7, a global initiative designed to help achieve specifically the 7th target of Sustainable Development Goal 8: a world free from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and all forms of child labour.

The Geneva-Tsinghua Initiative is a partnership between the University of Geneva and Tsinghua University in Beijing aimed at offering innovative teaching programs in the sustainable development field. In close collaboration with international and non-governmental organizations, students devise and prototype solutions to specific problems raised by the implementation of the SDGs.

The Group on Earth Observations, a Geneva-based partnership of 103 member governments and 106 participating organizations, works to build an Earth observation data and information system to support environmental decision-making for the benefit of humankind.
And many more.....

In other words, International Geneva is mobilizing and offering its capacity, skills and experience whether it is through these partnerships, or a host of knowledge-sharing platforms, convening networks and incubators for ideas (see the infographic for examples). All of us in International Geneva look forward to deepening our collaboration with our many partners, translating knowledge into action and new synergies as we share the responsibility for the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.