A meeting with the German Private Sector “Joining strengths to make a difference”, held on 30 June 2016 at Haus der Deutschen Wirtschaft in Berlin, brought together representatives of all UNESCO Sectors and many major German companies and corporate foundations. This pioneer event was a joint initiative by the German Commission for UNESCO and UNESCO’s Bureau of Strategic Planning.
The gathering sought to discuss partnering opportunities between UNESCO and the German Business Sector, in particular with a view to responding to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development. As Prof Dr Verena Metze-Mangold, President of the German Commission for UNESCO, stated in her opening remarks: “The SDG stress the importance of multistakeholder partnerships including effective public-private and civil society partnerships” She added that companies taking over responsibility had a longstanding tradition in Germany. In addressing the audience, Shantha Retnasingam, Chief of Mobilizing resources from Multilateral and Private Partners, reiterated that the 2030 Development Agenda represented a catalyst for innovation and for closer cooperation with the private sector and reminded that the new set of Sustainable development goals engaged the responsibility of all. He also exposed the many different ways in which the Business Sector can work with UNESCO, building on its longstanding and rich experience.
Mr Stefan Schick, Microsoft, and Mr Werner Mauch, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, presented their successful cooperation on Advancing Mobile Literacy Learning and Ms Nadine Küster, General Secretary of Danone Germany, Austria and Switzerland, showcased the Partnership between Danone Waters and the German Commission for UNESCO.
The list of speakers also included Ms Astrid Gillet UNESCO, Chief of Unit for Capacity Development and Field Support, Education Sector, Prof Dr Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) and Director of the Office on Global Water Assessment, Dr Mechtild Rössler, Director of the World Heritage Centre, Ms Souria Saad-Zoi, Programme Specialist on Youth from the Sector for Social and Human Sciences and Ms Sylvie Coudray, Chief of Section for Freedom of Expression.
The presentations were followed by interactive discussions inspired by the successful examples of cooperation with the Private Sector and on UNESCO’s programme activities focusing on water, education’s priorities for UNESCO towards 2030, protecting heritage and fostering creativity, the UNESCO Youth Programme and the future of internet.