Statement on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries by Bangladesh at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Partnership Forum 2017 on “Partnerships for Promoting Opportunities, Increased Prosperity and Sustainable Development for All” (New York, 5 April 2017)
- I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries. We align with the statement delivered by Ecuador on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
- The implementation of the transformative and ambitious 2030 Agenda unequivocally recognizes the importance of partnership for development. The least developed countries, who are the most vulnerable ones, value partnership very much in their development efforts. A robust, effective, and transparent global partnership is crucial for the LDCs to attain the SDGs through the delivery of the means of implementation as contained in Goal 17, as well as in each specific Sustainable Development Goal. However, partnerships should take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development. National policies and priorities must be fully respected and transparency and accountability must be ensured while undertaking partnerships for development.
- We underline the importance of the historical commitments of traditional partnerships namely Official Development Assistance (ODA), debt relief, trade, technology transfer and FDI. In this regard, we urge the developed countries to fulfill their commitments regarding ODA to developing countries and to provide genuine debt relief to LDCs. We also reiterate that the trade negotiations should be completed to facilitate trade as an engine for development. Proactive efforts are also required to be taken to make technology available to the LDCs.
- We also underscore the potentials of the South-South Cooperation as a complement to the North-South Cooperation in supporting the LDCs to achieve the SDGs. This partnership based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect can promote cooperation among the South in the addressing the similar challenges they face in poverty eradication, climate change, access to technology and so on.
- The Group stresses on the multistakeholder partnerships that attempt to tap the potentials of the private sector and business community.
- However, while recognizing the importance of the contributions of the private sector, foundations and philanthropic organizations, the centrality of the traditional means of implementation should always remain at the forefront of the partnership discourse. Too much focus on privatizing the global partnerships will put a big risk in achieving the SDGs. Partnerships should be guided by the Bali Guidelines on Partnerships, under Link with Globally Agreed Outcomes, which stresses that “Partnerships are to complement the intergovernmentally agreed outcomes of World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD); they are not intended to substitute commitments made by governments”.
- We would like to underscore the need for a vibrant, comprehensive and dynamic framework with clear guidelines and principles, for effective multi-stakeholder partnerships. This should be done, building on the existing instruments, namely Bali Guiding Principles, CSD11 guidelines, Guidelines on a Principle-based Approach, principles of the global compact and the principles delineated in the 2030 Agenda. We also reiterate better coordination among entities within the UN System, according to their respective mandates. ECOSOC as the main coordinating organ for partnerships has a significant role in this regard, and UNDESA could lead in undertaking a mapping exercise of partnership initiatives.
Hence, it is imperative that this Forum discusses the issue of an intergovernmental oversight which will ensure UN’s key principles, integrity, effectiveness and results, while also providing flexibility to individual entities.
- The Group of LDCs reaffirms its commitment to work with all stakeholders to encourage effective partnerships at different levels for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.