Sustainable Development Goals Numbers 16 and 17 : short summary

Sustainable Development Goals gathered under the roof of the United Nations represent an agenda which aims to reach peace and prosperity of the people and earth by 2030 agreed by all UN members in 2015. The highlight around these goals is the improvement of health and education as poverty and inequality is decreased, which should go hand in hand with tackling climate change and stopping environmental degradation. 

Some of the key targets of Goal 17 include:

  • Strengthening resource mobilization through international support to developing countries (especially for increasing the capacity of these states’ tax and revenue collection)
  • Ensuring financial contribution from “developed” (or as acknowledged in contemporary discourse industrially advanced) countries
  • Providing assistance to states who need long term debt sustainability
  • Enhancing regional and international cooperation
  • Developing the access to science, technology and innovation,  and sharing of knowledge sharing 
  • Promoting a rules-based universal multilateral trading system
  • Increasing the exports of developing countries
  • Ensuring global macroeconomic stability
  • Building mutual ground for policy coherence on sustainable development
  • Establishing an international environment in which respect to each country’s policy space and leadership is given

As  key targets:

  • Enhancing the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • Encouraging and promoting effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships data monitoring and accountability

Multi Stakeholder Management

Although the goals outline what ought to be achieved for a sustainable future, a thorough implementation effort could exemplify the practical definition of these goals. Therefore looking deeper into how the European Commission focuses on handling the multi-stakeholder management could be beneficial. The EU has a special platform for bringing together stakeholders from civil-society, NGOs, the private & corporate sector who could potentially support and advise the Commission on the implementation of SDGs. 

The core idea of the “multi” part of multi-stakeholders is bringing together as many contributors into the negotiation and implementation table as possible so that getting closer and pragmatically near the goals becomes smoother and more coherent since a variety of representatives of interests and knowledge holders join each other in a mutual platform. 

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs brings together reports that review the current progress on multi-stakeholder management. The assessment they provide shows that, 

  • Engagement through coordination and governance structures
  • Awareness-raising
  • New development of national priorities
  • Partnerships with non-state actors

are key parts of achieving goal 17. In order to elaborate on these key points it is possible to say that what needs to be conducted is: preparing engagement plans between the aforementioned multi-stakeholders as in terms of enabling platforms of engagement in between them, giving inclusive space to non-state actors on institutional levels so that the overseeing and implementations steps of SDGs could be accelerated, building additional informal environments in which multi-stakeholders could maintain ongoing dialogue, ensuring the continuation of consulting with citizens and providing them the reports within promised timetables to maintain trust with civil society, empowering citizens as a next step of raising awareness by funding mechanisms which would create direct partnerships, and engaging with historically marginalized groups to left to development aspect behind.

Public-Private Partnership

This aspect of the SDGs, recognized mainly as PPPs, is the private investment in public infrastructure. This investment helps the governments ensure there would be a long-term service for regions and projects provided and certain risks would be transferred, making the partnerships challenging as well. What needs to be underlined is that this is different from the transfer of ownership. Within this model, the public ownership of assets remains, and the public sector continues to be accountable. For a successful implementation of this partnership it is essential that a clear roadmap is present, there exists trained personnel, there are existing units and advisors, only few yet clear and simple laws that guide the partnership exist, risk sharing is provided through care, a transparent procurement process is present, putting public interest and consultation with people is prioritized and lastly incentives should be provided for abiding by green criteria (this way not only the development but also the sustainable part of SDGs could be reached)

The Sustainable Development Goals Fund, operating under the UN, is designed to oversee and help manage the goals becoming closer to being achieved. According to the Fund, the public-private sector partnership strategy revolves around involving businesses in UN programmes from the beginning and establishing a global business advisory council. This could translate into two necessary steps. The first being the importance of including businesses from day 1 of the creation of action programs so that one of the most criticized aspects of the goals, late implementation, could be closer to a realistic schedule and therefore a rapidly implementable one. The second step, advisory board, would translate into the immediate inclusion of business interest and knowledge sharing within the policy forming branch. 

The important situation is ensuring that the channeling of efficiency and greater sustainability brought in by the private sector would be tailored for the local contexts they are working for. Therefore it is important for governments and public partners within this step to provide the necessary information on infrastructure, project specifications and criteria outlining. As a result, their involvement could catalyze high-level political actions too. 

Private Companies: how can they benefit?

The specific partnership that is aimed to be promoted under the SDGs ought to be explained under the conditions of the classic win-win terms. As through training governments benefit from better quality projects, the business partners receive in overall a higher quantity of flow of projects. The PPPs are certainly an opportunity for the public sector to get access to modern technology. Nevertheless, this is an environment of opportunity for the private sector to innovate. Through finding ways to deliver infrastructure to governments these sectors could become more innovative. Additionally, without the creation of PPPs there would be few private companies who would have the chance to cooperate with the public sector. This way, they benefit from developing knowledge-experience-skills which could re-apply to the private sector in the future. As a branch of this gain, the partnerships that are built could translate into long-lasting partnerships which would provide a cycle of development. 

The Intersection of the SDGs and the Green Deal 

The European Green Deal (EGD) has been created to implement the Paris Agreement and United Nations 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals. The EGD too, aims to tackle the climate and environmental crisis while also focusing on economic development and the inclusion of marginalized people in policy building efforts. There were very specific four action plans published by the EU in order to commit to the SDGs. These are;

  1. consistently supporting the goals as one united Europe, meaning the unification of the European Council, European Parliament and European Commission on their discourse when working towards the established goals of the Green Deal. 
  2. Clarifying how the outlined goals ought to be achieved. This is planned to flow through a continually updated information flow on EU’s priorities
  3. The Commission to mobilize the civil society in parallel  to the Goal 17 in SDGs. 
  4. Preparing an EU-wide Voluntary National Review which would further strengthen the EU efforts on reporting and monitoring.