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[GEEF 2018 Plenary Session] Partnerships for Sustainable Development
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The session addressed the importance of multi-stakeholders working together in an integrated manner to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With 17 Sustainable Development Goals closely intertwined, the United Nations recognizes multi-stakeholder partnerships as “important vehicles for mobilizing and sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources.” Eight experts in education, business, nonprofit work and government, explored each stakeholder’s role and resourcing strategies for building inclusive partnerships that place people and the planet at the center.


Kim Won-soo, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (Moderator)

Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO

Heekyung Jo Min, Executive Vice President of CJ CheilJedang

Jean Todt, President of International Federation of Automobiles & UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety

Lee Jaeyoung, Former Korean National Assembly Member

Ed Futa, Former General Secretary of Rotary International

Suh Hong Won, Dean of Yonsei University Global Leadership Division

Alexander Moczarski, Chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies International

Session Summary

- Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO

We have the most educated generation ever in human history. Still, 60 million children are out of school, the majority of them in conflict areas. 250 million young people are considered practically and functionally illiterate due to poor quality of education. The challenge in preparing the SDG on education was to put quality education as a foundation. Education is not a technical issue, but about skills and learning. With the fourth industrial revolution, we need different skills. Moreover, looking at globalization, migration, conflict, xenophobia and nationalism, education must focus on global citizenship and the values of human rights, living together and different competencies. Nowadays, education is the responsibility of all of society, the private sector and civil society as partners.

- Heekyung Jo Min, Executive Vice President of CJ CheilJedang

Society has always put expectations on corporations, such as creating jobs, paying taxes and taking responsibility. Corporations now realize the importance of their active role in solving societal problems. CJ announced in 2013 that we will be a socially responsible company with the CSV (Creating Shared Values) principle, meaning whenever we do business, there is some social value we are creating at the same time. Since CJ is a lifestyle company, every Sustainable Development Goal has some relevance to our business, so we are trying to align our long-term business strategy with the SDGs. If corporations realize what they have in terms of capability and their impact point with customers, even bigger partnership models will come out to bring about positive change to society.

- Jean Todt, President of International Federation of Automobiles

Every year 1.3 million people die on the road and 50 million people are injured. Unless we take action, the number of road traffic deaths is expected to hit 2 million by 2030. As a former motor sport executive, auto racing is not only a show for me, it is also a laboratory for safety. Compared to 30 years ago there are almost no fatal accidents in auto racing today. Fortunately, road safety has been included in the SDGs with target 3.6, which is to halve the number of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020; and target 11.2, which is to provide access to public transportation to any citizen around the world by 2030. Education and law enforcement are critical in addressing road safety but its challenges include vehicles that lack safety standards, road infrastructure, post-crash care and police corruption. Simple things such as safety belt, helmet, no speeding, no texting, and no drinking and driving will halve the number of victims on the road. It is the responsibility of not only governments and international organization, but every citizen who is a road user.

- Lee Jaeyoung,  Former Korean National Assembly Member

Two of the biggest things needed for the success of the SDGs are financing and legislation. There are enough vehicles on both the public and private sectors out there to finance the SDGs. The challenge will come from legislation as every SDG will need new or amended legislation. While the private sector has the means to move faster, the governments and legislatures take a long time to push through any piece of legislation. On top of that, it becomes difficult to make your constituents understand the importance of the legislation because many people, including national politicians, do not fully understand the importance of sustainable development. To educate people at all levels, we need more dialogue between the UN, or people involved in these projects, and national-level politicians.

- Ed Futa, Former General Secretary of Rotary International

Rotary International provides on-the-ground community link essential to successfully accomplishing global projects. Our ‘End Polio Now’ campaign is one of the longest running campaigns that the private sector has been doing with international organizations. When we first started the fight against polio 30 years ago, there were 1,000 new cases of polio daily in the world. Last year there were 27 in 3 countries. Our success in putting together and keeping an international and broadly based stakeholder partnership community was due to keeping the goal in mind. The endgame is even more important. Eradicating polio and keeping it eradicated will require 2 billion new investments. If we eradicate polio, and we will, it will be the second disease to be eradicated from humankind. More importantly, the reallocation of resources from polio treatment and prevention to other areas, such as education, is going to be a monumental shift in financial resources globally. We cannot just say we have eliminated a disease from affecting humankind. The overall effect will be global and universal.

- Suh Hong Won, Dean of Yonsei University Global Leadership Division

Yonsei University began when missionary workers came to Korea and provided education on all fronts, with help from the private sector. For example, Horace Grant Underwood received funding through his brother who was a typewriter entrepreneur. Dr. Oliver Avision was able to treat patients and provide medical education, thanks to support from Louis Henry Severance, a millionaire philanthropist. Because of such contributions, Korea endured major setbacks such as colonization, war and extreme poverty following the war. Korea has risen from being a recipient of aid to becoming a donor country. As Korean universities now move towards deploying education to the world, the education model that we witnessed in the formation of Yonsei University, is still valid but the issue of sustainability remains a challenge. We can work with local communities at all levels of education, but without some kind of funding, even well-meaning initiatives will be difficult to remain sustainable. Funding does not just mean monetary support but other resources like human resources. To use our resources efficiently, we also need a database of social engagement, showing who’s who or who’s doing what, to minimize overlap and loss; a knowledge base on what we have done so far and where, and what we have learned from our experience. Lastly, we must listen to the educational needs of those to whom we are offering our services, instead of telling them what they need. We need to study them and work with them

- Alexander Moczarski, Chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies International

It is important to identify, quantify, manage and mitigate your risk. Insurance plays a part in mitigating risk. However, there is a big insurance gap in most sovereign states because they do not believe in insurance. This is due to cost, politics and the belief that there is a lot of corruption in the insurance negotiation process. In my view, there should be a budget item for insurance so we can minimize the political factor. Mitigation, risk management and insurance are valuable over a long period of time and across terms of office. Fortunately we are in a better position than a few years ago with better modeling, plenty of capital chasing a return and ongoing efforts by the UN, the International Insurance Society and other organizations.

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