Mary Robinson delivered a speech at the UN ECOSOC Partnership Forum at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday April 5 entitled ‘A New Vision for Multilateral Cooperation’.
The Forum is aimed at exploring ways to promote partnerships for global solutions to global challenges as well as ways to make them more effective in support of the 2030 Agenda. It brought together stakeholders from government, business, philanthropy, the UN system, civil society and academia.
In her speech, Mary Robinson said: “Today, more than ever, we are in need of a unifying vision that can bind the international community together in the face of our world’s greatest collective challenge – overcoming the existential threat of climate change while enabling sustainable development for all.”
“Our success will be dependent on our ability to maintain and strengthen a multilateral process that can stimulate inclusive global responses that work. But we are living through troubled times, where trust between nations is being eroded, undermining our ability to respond to these complex and interlinked global challenges.”
Mrs Robinson added that ECOSOC, as the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development, “has a critical role to play in nurturing a new vision of partnership and international cooperation based on a shared sense of mutual interdependence.”
Referring to the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Mrs Robinson said the world had “sent a clear signal that we must find a common path forward, based on a shared understanding of both the threats and the opportunities ahead”.
She added: “Climate justice is the antithesis of the short termism that is today causing nations to choose protectionism over international cooperation. Our future security and prosperity depends not on the strength of our borders or the size of our armies, but on the depth of our education systems and the extent of global access to water, food and electricity.”