Companies have coverage and influence, an emphasis on efficiency and special technical and managerial expertise that could strengthen sustainable development efforts considerably. This was a shared view by IUCN and other participants during the first week of the 17th United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York.
In its intervention at the opening session of the Comissions on Sustainable Development Partnerships Fair, IUCN highlighted some of its experiences with partnerships since Johannesburg and highlighted the need to involve the private sector more meaningfully in partnerships for sustainable development.
The need for all partners to joint the debate as equals was also discussed. Companies have a good understanding of communications, marketing and selling which is vital in changing opinions and behavior on a large scale. Whilst there was general agreement that the private sector had a much larger role to play, it was less clear how this could be facilitated.
The CSD Partnerships Fair is held every year as part of the formal programme of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in order to provide a venue for partnerships for sustainable development to network, identify partners, create synergies between partnerships and learn from each other's experiences.
The focus of CSD-17 this year is on Africa, agriculture, drought and desertification, land and rural development. Delegates are presently considering the draft negotiation text put forward by the Chairahead of the high level segment that will start next week.