The United Nations (UN) Today marks the 77th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter, which was signed in 1945 by the representatives of 50 countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The theme of UN Day in Saudi Arabia this year, “Together Towards the Goals”, is also a celebration of 77 years of the evolving partnership with the Government of Saudi Arabia, which entered a new stage this year with the signing of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022 - 2026.
The UN day celebrations this year are in partnership with the UN Global Compact Local Network and is sponsored by its members: Napco National and Tanmiah.
The UN in Saudi Arabia and its partners are celebrating UN Day this year by holding panel discussions on Sustainable Development Goal 17 - Partnerships for the Goals, which focuses on strengthening the means of implementation, and the revitalization of the global partnership for sustainable development by bringing together public and private sector leaders, philanthropists, prominent civil society actors and academia representatives. The purpose of the discussions is to identify and unlock potential partnerships through sustainable development advocacy and connecting local stakeholders supporting the achievement of the Saudi Vision 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
During her opening remarks, H.E Nathalie Fustier, United Nations Resident Coordinator said: “In Saudi Arabia, partnership has been instrumental in the progress we have made in sustainable development. This reminds us that the UN 2030 Agenda will only succeed if all actors from every segment of society work together to drive forward the real change required to deliver the SDGs and Leave No One Behind.”
His Excellency Hattan Bin Samman, General Supervisor of Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Economy and Planning highlighted "Our Partnership with the UN while longstanding is starting a new era today. An era defined by mutual delivery, achievement, and impact on the local, regional and international levels.”
The panel discussions kicked off with a thematic session, discussing corporate sustainability and the role of the private sector, convened, and moderated by the UN Global Compact Network Saudi Arabia with panelists members of the Global Compact Network in Saudi Arabia including Tanmiah, Sadara and Sabic.
The key highlight of the panel discussion revolved around defining sustainability from a business perspective and how it is embedded across different sectors and how it creates impact and business value.
Additionally, they emphasized the role of the UN Global Compact in supporting local companies throughout their sustainability journey which reflects on advancing the agenda of SDGs in the Kingdom.
The following session, moderated by UNICEF, highlighted the critical role of civil society in supporting the government to deliver on sustainable development, such as realizing the SDGs and Vision 2030. The civil society panelists discussed how the SDGs have provided an opportunity for organizations to engage with and motivate grass roots participation across the Kingdom, with a focus on the engagement of young people.
The final session, moderated by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) focused on emerging and innovative approaches of partnerships with Academia. The session included representatives from different levels of the academia ecosystem: ministerial, faculty and student. The conversation highlighted how academia is shaping the future of the innovation ecosystem towards the SDGs in Saudi Arabia, what are the infrastructure and tools needed to create a knowledge economy, and how can young Saudi academics play an active role towards achieving the SDGs.
The outcomes and the suggestions of the panel discussions highlighted the need for implementation at the ground level to accelerate KSA’s path to achieving the Saudi Vision 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the need to bridge the gap between the communities and government efforts by the establishment of new long-term and sustainable local partnerships between stakeholders and UN agencies.