The future of the United Nations is more uncertain than at any time before. Like his predecessors, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has promised to reform the United Nations. 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 towards new form of partnership between the public and the private sector as well as the civil society. The Global Goals Yearbook, published under the auspices of the macondo foundation, therefore covers „Partnership for the Goals“ as its 2018 main topic.
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 multiple aspects of how private sector engagement can be improved. Recommendations are, among others, to revise multilaterism, partnership models and processes and 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 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.