The Importance of Partnerships

My name is Olivera Jankovska and I’m a UNA-USA’s Global Goals Ambassadors for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17: Partnership for the Goals. This goal is important to me since I believe that the only way to achieve the other goals is to focus on collaboration between communities and to share resources and tools. I believe that the world has enough resources to accomplish all 17 goals but there is a need to coordinate and pair ideas, funds, tools and people to ‘complete the puzzle’.

During Global Goals week, I attended many sessions, but one that really brought a new perspective on the progress of SDG 17 was the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2020 Affiliated Session, “Multilateralism Reimagined: Towards a UN and Multilateral System that is more Democratic, Rules-Based and Inclusive.”

This session offered a multi-stakeholder discussion with the private sector, academia, the UN, youth and civil society to explore ideas and thoughts on how these stakeholders can participate in and reshape the multilateral system to deliver better on the SDGs.

The conclusion was simple: to solve the global challenges of our times—from COVID-19 to climate change, raging conflicts and unchecked technological advances—we need more inclusive international cooperation rather than a regression to narrow nationalism. The SDGs are our common road map for the future we want. To realize the 17 SDGs, we need stronger partnerships and deeper involvement from civil society, the private sector, trade unions, local governments and other relevant stakeholders. Ultimately, this session was a call to action for everyone working toward the SDGs to seek out collaborators and partners, especially in unusual places. It’s important to form ‘unlikely’ partnerships, such as the one announced by Pope Francis last week who teamed up with an agnostic food industry giant to fight climate change.

Olivera Jankovska is a 2020-2021 UNA-USA Global Goals Ambassador for SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals.