UN Sustainable Development Goal 17 is different from all of the others in that it is not about achieving a particular indicator. Rather, it sets out how the global community can implement the goals by working together. No one is embarking on this process alone because the key word is “partnership”. North and south, governments and the private sector together with civil society – it is only when all of these groups cooperate that it will be possible to realise the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
These partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society are based on a shared vision, with people and the environment at its heart. Building such partnerships at global, regional, national and local level is among the challenges associated with SDG 17.
Implementing the UN Development Goals not only requires joint working, but also financing for the necessary investments. This is why funding is needed on a large scale, far exceeding previous efforts, in order to finance the process of tapping into and using sustainable energy sources, the development of transport infrastructure and information and communications technology. Schools, hospitals and water supplies are also required. Governments cannot manage this on their own. Financial cooperation (FC) can act as a catalyst by mobilising private capital, thereby creating leverage. Beyond this, FC is also involved in building partnerships to coordinate joint efforts, promote research and development and transfer technology and knowledge.
The coronavirus pandemic has really highlighted the extent to which the globalised world is interconnected. In a very short span of time, it destroyed structures and trade relationships that had flourished. Collaborations formed spontaneously as people worked together to stop the spread of the pandemic, conduct research into the pathogen, make vaccines available, and find global answers. Discussions are being held under the motto “Build Back Better” to figure out how the process of rebuilding and regaining strength once the pandemic is over can be aligned with sustainable criteria, how to create greener and more resilient economies, and thus align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well.
In all of its projects and programmes, KfW interacts with partners from multiple sectors.
Building and strengthening international partnerships to jointly address global challenges is both a raison d'être and a prerequisite for sustainable development cooperation. For FC, one focus of SDG 17 is to further mobilise donor countries' official development assistance (ODA) and private capital in particular.
Furthermore, KfW has stated that it also applies the principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to its own organisation. For example, it is a co-signatory of the “Frankfurt Declaration” in which the key participants on the Frankfurt financial market commit to sustainable financing, and explicitly to the SDGs as well.