» Director-General participates in the Partnership Practitioners Forum at the US Institute for Peace
06.03.2017 - ODG

Director-General participates in the Partnership Practitioners Forum at the US Institute for Peace

On 6 March 2017, Director-General Irina Bokova took part in the third annual Partnerships Practitioners Forum organized by the US Department of State, USAID, Concordia and PeaceTech Lab, at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C.

The Forum brought together leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors working in development and peace-building to share best practices in the creation and implementation of cross-sector collaboration. This year, the Forum focuses on SDG 17: on how partnerships can be used to support the achievement of the SDGs.

Speaking at the Forum’s opening plenary session, the Director-General presented the UNESCO's perspective on fostering partnerships towards the achievement of the SDGs and gave concrete examples of the Organizations multi-stakeholder approach to partnerships. She stressed that “multi-stakeholder partnerships are firmly embedded in UNESCO’s way of working to support countries in achieving the SDGs.”

Referring to the role of private sector companies in implementing the SDGs, Ms Bokova stressed that "public-private partnerships are about a common goal, a common understanding". In this regard, she noted that “private sector partnerships, such as the one with Procter and Gamble to support girls’ and women’s education and literacy in Africa and in the Middle East were making a significant difference in the lives of women and girls by providing them with opportunities to continue their basic education and pursue training opportunities.”

Other prominent speakers in the session included Ms Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, UN Foundation; Mr Trevor Davies, Global Head, International Development Assistance Service Institute, KPMG; Mr Claus Stig Pedersen, Head Corporate Sustainability, Novozymes; and Mr Tomicah Tilleman, Director, Bretton Woods II, New America. Mr Stig Pedersen emphasized the importance of developing new types of partnerships in order adapt to the needs of the most vulnerable. Mr Travis underlined that while SDGs implementation is a huge challenge it also creates new opportunities for companies, in particular in terms of job creation. 

Lastly, the Director-General highlighted the role of the private sector in peace and security issues, including in preventing violent extremism, and how UNESCO fosters cooperation with the private sector in this regard. “Providing young people with technical and vocational education, and with skills and knowledge to be resilient is essential to address the current world challenges and the private sector can play an essential role in this regard" she concluded. 

Throughout one week each March, GPW encourages public and private organizations everywhere to engage in events that celebrate existing public-private partnerships and explore the potential for shared value collaborations. From large-scale events to intimate networking gatherings and everything in between, GPW events connect governments, corporations, civil society and faith-based organizations, diaspora communities and academic institutions to each other as potential partners, supporters and solution providers, providing opportunities to embrace and explore creative collaborations that enhance diplomacy and development throughout the international community.

Following her participation is the Forum, the Director-General met with Ms Nancy Lindborg, President of the United States Institute of Peace, to share experiences and explore avenues for cooperation between UNESCO and the Institute on the prevention of violent extremism, Holocaust education and genocide prevention, as well as promotion and protection of cultural heritage as a means for reconciliation. 

While in Washington, the Director-General also had a meeting with Ms Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, and Mr Peter Yeo, the Foundation’s Vice-President for Public Policy and Advocacy.

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