Every year, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) brings together global leaders in New York City to address the most pressing global issues and forge partnerships for a brighter and more prosperous future for all. UNGA also serves as an opportunity to catalyze progress on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This year’s theme, “Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda,” served as the overarching focus for the various meetings and receptions during the two-week summit. Originating in 2015, the SDGs were conceived as a collective aspiration for a more prosperous world by 2030. However, as we reach the halfway point, progress toward the agenda is severely off-track. The most recent data, encompassing 140 targets, paints a disheartening picture: only 12% of these targets are on track, while a concerning 30% have regressed since 2015.
MCC’s Partnerships Advance the Global Goals
On Monday, September 18, 2023, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the United Nations Foundation (UNF) co-hosted a reception during UNGA to underscore the significance of MCC’s model and country-led partnerships in driving meaningful SDG progress.
MCC was conceptualized in the early 2000s, following the global commitment by world leaders to pursue the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MCC emerged as a bold experiment to test innovative, cost-effective, and data-driven approaches to end global poverty.
“When President George W. Bush proposed the creation of MCC in 2002, his vision was … considered bold, audacious even. It represented a new approach to development: a focus on strong economic policies, good governance, and democracy, country-led solutions and country-led implementation. All of these values remain core to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
-Peter Yeo, Senior Vice President at the United Nations Foundation
As the agency approaches its twentieth anniversary in January 2024, the transition from the MDGs to the SDGs represents the enduring strength of this experiment. The MCC-UNF reception highlighted how MCC’s high-impact investment model has proven effective in helping partner countries deliver on the SDGs.
Distinguished speakers Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, José Ramos-Horta, President of Timor-Leste, Peter Yeo, Senior Vice President at the United Nations Foundation, and Richard R. Verma, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources addressed a diverse audience comprised of over 100 partner country delegations, member states, USG agencies, donors, and civil society representatives. The speakers emphasized the powerful role of partnerships in achieving the SDGs and inspired attendees to scale up efforts and explore new avenues for collaboration.
Below are three essential insights from the reception underlining the power of collaboration to accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda:
The Power of Partnerships: Key Event Takeaways
- Multi-Stakeholder Approach: The SDGs are not achievable alone. It requires a collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach, building robust partnerships at all levels.
2. Resource Mobilization: Partnerships are crucial in mobilizing resources for development. They allow for the pooling of expertise and financing, which can take multiple forms. Public funding alone is not enough to achieve the SDGs. The United States, for example, is committed to mobilizing private finance, leveraging all of its development, economic, and diplomatic tools. Diverse sources of finance can help the financial costs faced by indebted developing countries working to invest in their nation’s future.
3. Capacity Building: Partnerships can evaluate the capacity of individuals and organizations involved to identify knowledge gaps, skill deficiencies, and resource constraints that could hinder progress toward the SDGs.
To learn how MCC supports partner countries in achieving the SDGs, read MCC’s Milestones: Partnerships Drive the Global Goals.
About the Author
Tiara S. Barnes is a Senior Advisor in MCC’s Department of Congressional and Public Affairs.