62nd Session of the General Assembly – "Agenda Item 61 - Global Partnerships" Statement by Ms. Vanessa Gomes, Adviser, Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations on behalf of the European Union, New York, November, 8, 2007
62nd Session of the General Assembly
Agenda Item 61 - Global Partnerships
Ms. Vanessa Gomes
on behalf of the European Union
New York, November, 8, 2007
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
I would like to start by thanking the Secretary-General for his informative report on enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners, in particular the private sector. This report provides very useful updates on the progress made in the relationship between the United Nations system and its wide range of partners, including by providing specific examples of public-private partnerships.
As the report states, “there is a growing recognition that many of the world’s most pressing problems are too complex for any one sector to face alone.” It is quite timely that at this critical juncture on the road to 2015 the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, that the General Assembly discusses public-private partnerships. The achievement of the internationally agreed development goals (IADGs), including the MDGs, will only be possible with the active participation of all stakeholders, official, private sector and non-governmental alike. This is very much the reflection of a truly global partnership for development.
In the Millennium Declaration, Heads of State and Government resolved to develop strong partnerships with the private sector and with civil society organizations in pursuit of development and poverty eradication. The more recent World Summit Outcome document reaffirmed our leaders’ commitment to global partnerships for development, underlined the value of building linkages throughout the UN system in order to achieve the IADGs, including the MDGs.
The United Nations has a particular role to play, together with the Bretton Woods Institutions and the WTO, in developing partnership practices in pursuit of our common development objectives. It is important, in this context, that global partnerships focus on strategic priorities, like the eradication of poverty. The UN should continue to take appropriate steps to realize the full potential of the rapidly intensifying cooperation with the private sector. To improve partnerships and to create preconditions for effective scaling up and replication of successful partnerships, it is important that best practices and lessons learned are shared among the UN. The EU continues to support the efforts of the UN Fund for International Partnerships to mainstream partnership activity across UN business.
Partnerships are also very much encouraged by the Monterrey Consensus on financing for development and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation on sustainable development. As we are now in a reflective phase for the preparation of the Doha follow-up conference on financing for development, the role of these partnerships in promoting the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus should not be overlooked. In the context of the follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, more than 250 partnerships have already been launched since the Summit took place. These partnerships are an integral part of the implementation of the objectives of the process and are regularly reviewed by the Commission on Sustainable Development that serves as a focal point for the discussion on partnerships that promote sustainable development. During CSD-15, the 1st session of the Partnership E-Forum aimed at fostering communication and strategic alliances between Commission partnerships. The Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) is another valuable example of a successful partnership.
The European Union welcomes the ongoing international debate on corporate social responsibility, business ethics, accountability and transparency. At the national level, governments play an important role in creating an enabling environment for responsible business practices and in promoting good corporate citizenship through various initiatives. At the international level initiatives such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, the UN Global Compact and codes of conduct agreed under the aegis of international organisations such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization and the World Bank and efforts under the auspices of the UN Conference on Trade and Development with regard to the activities of enterprises in developing countries are equally important. The EU continues to support the OECD guidelines as the only comprehensive, government-backed instrument in the field of corporate social responsibility and welcomes efforts to raise public awareness on how these guidelines can be used by governments, companies and stakeholders.
Since its creation by the Secretary General in 2000, the Global Compact has gained widespread support throughout the international business community having now grown to over 3,800 participants, including over 2,900 businesses in 100 countries around the world. The Global Compact has been a catalyst for expanding system-wide cooperation by the United Nations with business and has been active in promoting the internalization of its ten universal principles in the work of the UN. In this regard, good progress has already been made in the integration of its principles in the areas of procurement practices, pension fund policies, facilities management and human resource management. The Global Compact Office has also functioned as an important focal point for the sharing of lessons learned and positive experiences from partnerships. The success of the recent Global Compact Leaders Summit attests to the increasing relevance of the initiative and of its added value in the international system. In this context, the EU welcomes the partnerships launched during the Summit, including in the areas of climate change.
I would like to conclude by announcing that member states of the European Union will shortly be tabling a draft resolution entitled “Towards global partnerships”. This resolution, presented biennially, is largely based on the previous resolution on this theme and, while acknowledging developments in the United Nations’ activities in partnerships, seeks to further encourage such partnerships. We very much look forward to working with all delegations and invite all interested delegations to join the EU member states as cosponsors to this text.
* Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.