The 2022 United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Partnership Forum was held on February 2, under the theme “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” This Forum is the first in a series of SDG-related meetings leading up to the UN General Assembly, and the only focused on SDG17, Partnerships.
USCIB was invited to speak during the Opening Plenary as the U.S. Business representative through its standing in the UN Major Group for Business and Industry, where USCIB Senior Vice President Norine Kennedy is a Co-Chair. Kennedy invited USCIB members, Bayer, to speak on behalf of U.S. Business. Representing Bayer, Dr. Alejandra Castro, Global Head of Partnerships and International Organizations, emphasized the criticality of multilateral partnerships being inclusive, and how the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continues to serve as the sustainability framework for business planning and action to advance sustainability in partnership with the international community and with all stakeholders.
Castro continued speaking on how, for Bayer, when focusing on sustainability within food and agriculture, they “have welcomed openness across the UN system to partnering with business on pandemic response –and recovery – and many members of business and industry have stepped forward. Farmers have been supporting our food system at a time where markets are facing shutdowns, slowdowns, climate change and economic crisis.” In closing out her remarks, Castro underlined the readiness of USCIB and all colleagues in business to work with the international community to get back on track, and to build back better with dedication to inclusive multilateralism that engages every societal partner working side by side with governments, and with one another.
The Secretary General’s report, Our Common Agenda (OCA), was frequently referenced during the Forum – both by speakers and attendees. The OCA contains ninety recommendations setting out to supercharge action towards realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and will play a critical role in multilateral partnerships moving forward.
USCIB, with the International Organization of Empoyers (IOE), co-chairs the Business and Industry Major Group at the UN in New York. IOE organized two events in the Forum:
- Spotlight Session titled, “Building back better from the bottom up: collaboration with Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises for SDG Implementation.”
- Side-Event on, “Changing the landscape by breaking down silos: Cross-cutting business partnerships,” organized in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).