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ECOSOC, UNGA Second Committee Discuss Public Private Partnership

UNGA6 November 2013: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) Second Committee (Economic and Financial), in a joint meeting with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), discussed methods of public-private partnership for financing and accelerating progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Panelists from the private sector and the UN System engaged Member States in a dialogue regarding how businesses could be encouraged to promote social change.

The joint meeting on 'Finding solutions for addressing sustainable development challenges and accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals' took place on 6 November 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. Participants heard statements from Nestor Osorio, President of ECOSOC, and Abdou Salam Diallo, Chair of the Second Committee. Osorio stressed the importance of partnerships for the post-2015 development agenda, and the ability of the private sector to reflect the needs of society. Diallo said governments and partners had to redouble development efforts in order to combat increasing inequalities, climate change, and insecurity around the world.

Panelists described effective models of public-private partnerships, as well as ways to inspire corporate social responsibility. Paul Macmillan, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, discussed the ability of the private sector to deliver solutions in economic spaces that the public sector does not occupy, and called on governments to facilitate such solutions by encouraging market innovation. Parag Gupta, Waste Venture, discussed the important role of social entrepreneurs, who are able to develop solutions to problems, such as waste removal, that governments find challenging.

On the need for new forms of development investment, Luther Ragin Jr., Global Impact Investing Network, the ability of investors to direct resources towards companies and organizations that have positive social and environmental impacts. Neo Ek Beng Mark, Singapore, said that innovative financing may work on the national level, but that commitments for Official Development Assistance must be fulfilled at the global level to assist developing countries.

The panelists engaged in dialogue with Member States following the discussion, and countries highlighted: unsustainable consumption and production patterns; the inclusion of women and youth in development; government incentives for private investment; and competition for financial resources. [UN Press Release] [IISD RS Sources] [Meeting Webcast]