A few days ago I have been part of a Panel and I committed the mistake of referring to SDG 17 Partnerships as number 16. The lapsus makes sense when we see that SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions is the goal that comes before any other goal. For the achievement of resilient alliances, we need to deliver the correct framework that allows the exchange among partners from new dimensions.
Is it precisely the idea of a multidimensional approach on content and shape that leads me to see SDG´s as a whole and a driver to maximize democracy standards on a fair accessibility basis to all. COVID19 represents the momentum to do so and enables the tools for its implementation – as usually happen during crises-.
Partnerships at all levels –public-private, individuals-institutions, public-civil society- are the catalyzer to a system change. It is key to open the stage to new actors that have become part of a wider stage of stakeholders and a new way of living and working. The consequences of COVID19 are multiples as well as there consequences: working from home, unemployment, voluntary work, mothers that take an additional role with homeschooling, a go back to green consumption, less or none travel, etc. All of them mark the beginning of a new reality that we must make last and profitable in the short-term.
It demands goodwill to accept it and enough institutional strength to create and innovate new methods to tackle with profitability. There is no more the dichotomy: bottom-up and top-down initiatives, but the harmonically merge of all, leading by global organizations, governments and be demanded by the citizens as the best source of power to boots a new system. Is precisely the capacity to create new synergies that will build resilience through new models of interconnecting and working together. A sense of togetherness that moves beyond aid or solidarity but a true way of working differently.
SDG17 “partnerships” becomes a must-have to move forward and a new way of relating to each other. In the last decades, the public sector becomes a super-powerful Welfare State, a distortion of what is their real essence. The boost of new models is an imperative that is also claiming for new structures of national and global authority and certainly, going back to the real meaning and ideology that represents a Welfare State and not an overrated apparatus.
A State that serves as an active Mediator, delivering SDG´s as one more actor that contributes with its leadership to build a network that allows new shapes and frameworks. Current State’s model -no matter which political ideology holds- represents a fake version of a protective State, because of the weakness of their citizens to influence and the lack of charismatic leaders, therefore is not contributing to change but to more stagnation. Is it much more than a political sector crisis, but the nature of the current State model that is not adapted to new crises and challenges.
Furthermore, a new framework: global and sustainable pushes to new States ‘relations and to global organizations to be creative and stronger. There is no need to take positions as Trump withdrawing from UNESCO and WHO, but to reshape the structure and keep a new balance.
Under these circumstances United Nations become unreliable and ineffective and if there is not a change of direction it will continue sinking, sweeping away their leading role on achievement the SDG´s and unite Nations across the world.
Multidimensional approaches demand political generosity and open-minded leaders to switch from extremely political institutions to a wide-open and democratic one. United Nations holds the structure and the philosophy but not the vision neither the action. There is not a sustainable action for the achievement of the SDGs because there is not a resilient institution behind them that works as a catalyzer, connecting initiatives, Nations, and people.
Is it mainly the idea that the Goals are a “patrimony of countries rather than people” that creates confusion and irreversibly leads to inefficiency. Until we recover the essence of democracy: the people, we are going to continue making the same mistake of relying on the power of institutions as a substitute for our responsibility. Meanwhile, Governments and global institutions are leading a process without a sense of ownership and with the correct representation because of absent citizens that, in many cases reject authority, and instead of searching for solutions they act as isolated parts of an anarchic system that is connected neither integrated.
A public sector within a multidimensional approach means not only to build synergies with the private sector but also to lead the process of sustainable relations: public-private-individuals-institutions-global leadership. That supposes holistic approaches, sadly it may be seeing as a loss of power from the political sector, but is it just a new distribution of power, and is it here when I see the need to act within generosity to achieve Global Goals for the sake of a new planet beyond ideologies. An ambitious step but also a needed one to get into resilience. Not as a way to put aside ideologies but to build a global system enough open to allow all actors and positions.
Having global organizations and Governments as catalyzers of the process of integration of all initiatives, organizations, and actors from a multidimensional approach and an open attitude.
SDG´s are not a Government or global institution’s mission but part of a wider scenario in which citizens are essential ones and need to connect, exchange, and nurture each other.
Reshaping approaches…reshaping minds.
*Mar Introini. SDG 17 Partnerships: the challenge of changing work codes
*Mar Introini Advocating for SDGs 16+17 Peace, Justice, strong institutions + Partnerships= Peacebuilding