Sustainable Development Goal 17:  Partnerships for the Goals

by | Sep 9, 2021 | Formation, Vincentian Family at the U.N.

Here’s a lofty goal: to revitalize a global partnership for sustainable development.  Wow.

But it makes sense: development cannot be sustainable if it is not shared.  Across countries and regions.  Not in the sense of perfect equality—there are too many variables for that—but in a real sense of shared positive upwards movement.  Global partnership is the only way forward.

So far progress has been mixed.  World trade and global foreign direct investment have declined, and remittances sent home, a lifeline for so many families in poorer households around the world, are projected to remain low for the foreseeable future.

We often say “it’s a small world.”  To concern ourselves with overseas peoples we will never meet is not just charity but our own self-interest.  Take COVID—we will never be fully safe until everyone is safe.

Nonetheless this sounds a bit beyond those of us living ordinary lives.  But wait–AI to the rescue!  If we’ve occasionally wondered how Artificial Intelligence is doing these days, well, at the Olympics the other day a robot hit a three-point shot!  A basketball challenge many people would struggle with.  Enter “Waves,” an AI advisor that recommends initiatives to invest in, providing users the positive feeling of giving to charity while simultaneously supporting sustainable development.  So far $7 trillion has been raised for investment in the SDGs.

Humanity will need all the help it can get to achieve what this Sustainable Development Goal calls for:

  • Mobilizing resources to improve countries’ abilities to collect revenue;
  • Sharing knowledge and cooperation to spread access to science, innovation and technology;
  • Collecting relevant data and statistics: We cannot fix what we do not measure to fully understand;
  • Increasing broadband access. As said previously in these pages, “leave no one behind” also means leaving no one offline because technology means access to vital services.

SDG17 is no small feat.  But there are ways we contribute, from insisting candidates to higher office have a healthy global view of shared development, to doing a little research ourselves, before we buy, to find products sustainably and ethically produced, making a global issue truly local.

Jim Claffey
NGO representative of the CM to the UN
Twitter: @cmunnyc
Facebook: congregation of the mission un



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