Johannesburg: UN forum turns to partnerships for implementing goals
The United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, turned its focus today to partnership initiatives aimed at connecting the draft plan of action with actual efforts to implement its goals.
Considered by many to be one of the major outcomes of the Summit, the partnerships mark an innovation that brings governments together with the private sector, civil society and international organizations.
"The partnership initiatives are intended to ensure that there is real action toward sustainable development after the Summit," Nitin Desai, the Secretary-General of the Summit, said, cautioning that the initiative should not be seen as a substitute for government commitments.
"Too often, we have seen conferences end with only a document," he added. "We need government commitments - that's what the negotiations are for. But we need to know who is actually planning to implement what the Summit decides."
The United Nations announced that it has received 218 partnership submissions, and more than 40 of them will be showcased over the next three days. Twenty initiatives deal with water, with $20 million in funding already committed, while another 12 proposals tackle agriculture, food security and rural development.
Meanwhile, about $11 million has been committed for 30 partnerships relating to energy, and another $70 million pledged for 31 plans on cross-sectoral issues focusing on poverty.