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Saving and improving lives around the world: It takes “a partnership village”

“You Can’t Do it Alone”! That was the compelling, urgent mantra throughout yesterday’s UN Forum,”Partnerships in Achieving the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Making It Happen”.

The day after a UN report that global hunger has declined sharply development experts from around the world convened at UN headquarters in New York to plan further momentum via the imminent UN “Sustainable Development Goals”.

Using lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic crisis as a discussion launch pad, government, NGOs and corporate leaders repeatedly presented healthcare case histories as evidence for innovative partnerships as projectable development successes.

They also urged new long-term, systemic partnerships in innovative development programs as humanitarian and good-business commitments. Importantlly, such programs, they contended, must be transparent and have community-based implementation.

President Clinton projected such commitments as illustrations of, “The great struggle of the 21st century … cooperation vs. conflict, inclusion vs. exclusion”.

He noted that “the best projects” bring together the talents of a diverse group of partners that empower nations to, in the long run, stand on their own; and that these projects were in the long term interests on participating companies.

Experts from two such companies presented summaries of their commitments:

Gary M.Cohen, Executive VP and President of Global Health, Becton, Dickinson & Company summarized his company’s expertise in new financing mechanisms such as social impact investing and social impact bonds. He also urged broad private sector and private foundation engagement with the UN post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals program.

G.S. Krishnan, Regional President, Novozymes, India told the Forum how his company is integrating its CSR/sustainability development commitments into all operations and that it is pursuing transparency through integrated reporting.

Insightful presentations from leaders of international government agencies, NGOs and the academic world manifested partnering at the Forum itself.

On the Ebola epidemic, attendees learned of the efforts by the Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone governments and citizens benefitting from support during the emergency by experts from organizations such as the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the Harvard University Medical School Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. An extension of multi-partner support is now needed as the countries begin their long term planning for healthcare systems to manage and prevent future outbreaks.

NGO “Save The Children” President Carolyn Miles stressed the need to help more children — “especially the most disadvantaged “– by applying the standards of excellence and accountability of the private sector.

Fittingly, the presentations concluded with a moving appeal by Dr. Mercy Ahun, Special Representative of GAVI the Vaccine Alliance. The organization’s mission: “Saving children’s lives and producing people’s health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries.”

The Forum concluded with the launch of the Global Network on Promoting Digital Technologies for Sustainable Urbanization.