Loading...

Revitalising global partnership for sustainable development

Muhammad Abdul Mazid | Published: March 01, 2019 22:06:19 | Updated: March 05, 2019 21:26:12


In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Building on the principle of "leaving no one behind", the Agenda emphasises a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

The SDGs which spell out greater efforts needed to align development cooperation with country-defined development priorities and results, particularly in fragile countries, require partnerships between governments, private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the centre, are needed at the global, regional, national and local levels. Long-term investments, including foreign direct investment, are needed in critical sectors, especially in developing countries. These include sustainable energy, infrastructure and transport, as well as information and communications technologies. The public sector will need to set a clear direction. Review and monitoring frameworks, regulations and incentive structures that enable such investments must be retooled to attract investments and reinforce sustainable development. National oversight mechanisms such as supreme audit institutions and oversight functions by legislatures should be strengthened.

The SDG Agenda, with its 17 goals, is universal and calls for action by all countries, both developed and developing, to ensure that no one is left behind. To revitalise global partnership for sustainable development, all stakeholders need to come together-- governments, civil society, scientists, academia and the private sector. All will need to mobilise both existing and additional resources-technology development, financial resources, capacity building; and developed countries will need to fulfil their official development assistance commitments. Multi-stakeholder partnerships will be crucial to leverage the inter-linkages in the SDGs to enhance their effectiveness and accelerate progress. This will primarily be the responsibility of countries. Reviews of progress will need to be undertaken regularly in each country involving civil society, business and representatives of various interest groups. At the regional level, countries will share experiences and tackle common issues, while on an annual basis, at the United Nations, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), will take stock of progress at the global level identifying gaps and emerging issues, and recommending corrective action.

While fulfilling the SDGs are important concerns for most countries, there has been noticeable change in the global development scenario. Official Development Assistance globally stood at $146.6 billion in 2017. This represented a decrease of 0.6 per cent in real terms over 2016. 79 per cent of imports from developing countries enter developed countries duty-free. The debt burden on developing countries remained stable at about 3 per cent of export revenue. The number of internet users in Africa almost doubled in the past four years. 30 per cent of the world's youth are digital natives, active online for at least five years. But more four billion people do not use the internet, and 90 per cent of them are from the developing world. Under this scenario, SDG 17 fixed the targets as under:

Finance

  • Strengthen domestic resource mobilisation, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection
  • Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries
  • Mobilise additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
  • Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress
  • Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries

Technology

  • Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
  • Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed
  • Fully operationalise the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

Capacity building

  • Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation

Trade

  • Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organisation, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda
  • Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries' share of global exports by 2020
  • Realise timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organisation decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access

Systemic issues

Policy and institutional coherence

  • Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence
  • Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
  • Respect each country's policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development

Multi-stakeholder partnerships

  • Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability

  • By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
  • By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

Dr Muhammad Abdul Mazid is former Secretary to the government and former Chairman, NBR.

mazid.muhammad@gmail.com

Share if you like