Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York


EU Statement – United Nations: ECOSOC Partnership Forum

New York, 11/04/2019 - 22:06, UNIQUE ID: 190411_19
Statements on behalf of the EU

11 April 2019, New York – European Union Statement at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the ECOSOC Partnership Forum

Madame President,

Deputy Secretary-General,


Distinguished Ministers,


Dear colleagues,


I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.


The Candidate Countries Turkey, North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.


  1. At the outset, we commend the President of ECOSOC for convening this high-level discussion which brings together representatives from governments, civil society, the private sector and academia. We also thank the UN Office for Partnerships, the UN Global Compact and UN DESA for organizing the meeting.
  2. In the 2030 Agenda we all made a collective commitment to leave no one behind and to reach the furthest behind first. This commitment can only be implemented by a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development. In SDG 17 we therefore recognize the crucial role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in order to mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources.
  3. This role was reiterated by the General Assembly in resolution 73/254 of 20 December 2018 (entitled "Towards global partnerships: a principle-based approach to enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners").
  4. The European Union and its Member States has always been a strong advocate for multi-stakeholder partnerships. Firstly, because we believe that sustainable development is not only the responsibility of the state but of whole of society – non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academia and other stakeholders. Secondly, because we experienced that our societies are more resilient and our economies are more innovative and successful when we include the potential of all. Diversity makes us stronger, not weaker. And thirdly, because we believe in cooperation.
  5. For all these reasons, the European Union and its Member States will remain committed to enhanced global and multi-stakeholder partnerships and to an inclusive approach when it comes to the implementation of the SDGs.
  6. Let me now point out some challenges with regard to multi-stakeholder partnerships and the work of the UN system:
  • The United Nations must urgently rise to the challenge of unlocking the full potential of collaboration with stakeholders, especially the private sector.
  • In this regard, it is important to move away from donation-based partnerships and build more strategic business relationships which focus on innovation and leverage core private sector competencies and technologies.
  • In order to forge new, innovative partnerships we need to support increased risk tolerance and create safe spaces to learn from failure. Micro-managing UN partnerships will not lead to success.
  • Further, we need better coordination across the UN system and beyond in order to scale up successful partnership models and avoid making the same mistakes. In this regard we commend the work of the UN Office for Partnerships and the UN Global Compact, as well as their ongoing efforts for further improvement in that area.
  • Another challenge is the divergent approaches and standards for screening and engaging business partners. With the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact we already have a good set of criteria that should be applied as a system-wide standard.
  • The same applies to reporting on and monitoring of existing partnerships. We need to find common principles and transparent ways to assess what works and what does not work, which are then implemented by the competent bodies in the respective UN agencies, funds, programs or other UN entities.
  1. Let me close by emphasizing that multi-stakeholder partnerships are not only vital at the global level but also at country level. The new dynamics resulting from the UN Development System reform and the new Resident Coordinator should, therefore, also be used to make progress on effective partnerships. 


* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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