(Vienna) – Following the UN Private Sector Focal Points meeting, the Global Compact LEAD Task Force on UN-Business Partnerships met to refine the purpose and vision for the UN Partnership Facility, to be announced during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
Multiple objectives of the session included sharing background information and history of the idea to create the UN Partnership Facility; gathering feedback on the proposed approach to operating model design between now and Rio+20; developing an emerging vision of the potential outcomes of the UN Partnership Facility; and collecting input on the most impactful capabilities and services the UN Partnership Facility could provide to UN agencies, funds, programs, governments and business partners.
Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Planning and Policy Coordination, Executive Office of the Secretary-General and Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Office, opened the session with an overview of events leading up to the launch of the Partnership Facility at Rio+20. Mr. Orr emphasized that this was a “unique opportunity right now” for both the public and private sectors, as UN-business partnerships are a critical strategy within the UN system to effect change. Mr. Kell emphasized the UN Partnership Facility’s potential to act as the focal point for driving this strategy, enabled by best practices from within the UN system and the business community to strengthen existing partnerships, and to establish an efficient and impact-driven approach for future partnerships.
Following a presentation of the high-level draft operating model for the UN Partnership Facility, four smaller working groups convened to discuss specific functions and capabilities of the UN Partnership Facility, along with a range of service levels associated with each capability. The four topics discussed included matchmaking and incubating new projects; capacity building design and delivery; enhancing accountability and integrity; and an accelerating and scaling platform.
The Global Compact LEAD Task Force was engaged in the working sessions and provided clarity and insight into which capabilities and service levels are most relevant for UN-business partnerships. This work will be refined by a core Project Team and supported by the LEAD Task Force in anticipation of the Rio+20 announcement this June.