Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures2016 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Goal 17 naturally lies at the heart of Agenda 2030. It is about getting things done. Consequently, it is a cross-cutting Goal that straddles all of the other 16 Goals. It emphasizes the partnerships that will be required between governments, the private sector and civil society to implement a successful sustainable development agenda - to promote partnership and highlight the interlinkages between people, planet, prosperity and peace at the global, regional, national and local levels.

This is the people’s Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind. It seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core. The integrated, interlinked and indivisible 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the people’s goals and demonstrate the scale, universality and ambition of this new Agenda.Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (Ban Ki-moon, 2015)

Goal 17 is the continuation of Millennium Development Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development. As one might expect, many of the targets from Goal 8 are continued but also developed, such as non-discriminatory trading17.1, debt17.2, information and communications technology (ICT)17.3 and aid delivery17.4. But Goal 17 takes a broader perspective, for example, where emphasis is placed not only on implementing official development assistance (ODA) commitments17.5 but also on domestic resource mobilization17.6 and raising finance from other sources17.7. Goal 17 also introduces new issues for the first time, such as investment17.8 and enhanced North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation17.9. Goal 17 also echoes the call for a data revolution acknowledging the importance of data as a critical driver for development17.10.

Strengthening the means of implementation will require resources and funding. Targets from 17.1 to 17.5 deal with the financing aspect of Agenda 2030. These targets identify the need for countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs)The category of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) was officially established in 1971 by the UN General Assembly with a view to attracting special international support for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the UN family.
, to improve domestic, international and additional resource mobilization. The finance section also highlights the need for developed countries to fulfil their ODA commitments, the need to address debt sustainability and improve investment promotion regimes.

In order to monitor progress, data will be required and this need is enormous and will itself require significant resourcing and investment. At the 47th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC), an indicator framework comprising 230 indicators was agreed (United Nations, 2016). In addition to their general supporting role, as noted above, official statistics and data will also play an explicit role in targets 17.18 and 17.19. But arguably, the most important contribution to the debate regarding data may be in relation to target 9.117.11 where the importance of developing quality, reliable and sustainable infrastructure is highlighted. It is not often appreciated, but organized data are a critical piece of nations’ soft infrastructure, every bit as important as roads, sewage or broadband (MacFeely and Dunne, 2014; Dunne and MacFeely, 2014). If data can be linked to other data then the power of all those data increases immeasurably.