Collaborations and Partnerships – The Way Forward  for Building an Equitable and Resilient Future

By Aparna Mahajan, President of Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI)

In the current challenging times of Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted millions of lives and livelihoods worldwide, the role of collaborations and partnerships in binding the nations together for international solidarity, has become much more critical, than ever before.

In the current challenging times of Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted millions of lives and livelihoods worldwide, the role of collaborations and partnerships in binding the nations together for international solidarity, has become much more critical, than ever before.

A clarion call for global community is evident from the prevailing catastrophe, that clearly highlights the importance of balanced development and harmonious co-existence through environment preservation, value and respect for earth’s natural eco-systems, and reducing the gaps within communities including women, marginalized and disadvantaged societies. The perils and detrimental consequences of the pandemic have raised an alarm to humanity and for urgently tackling world’s pressing problems related to biodiversity, global warming, deforestation, pollution, rising inequalities etc.

A responsible collective action backed by concerted efforts and  coordinated response by all stakeholders including, but not limited to governments, businesses/private sector, civil societies, and communities at large, both locally and globally, needs to be stepped up, to help combat the challenges and deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Rebuilding better for a resilient and equitable future accentuates the need for enhancing global partnerships (SDG 17) across various actors of development. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative mechanisms, there is a greater need for mobilizing and sharing resources, knowledge, expertise, technology and funds, for the betterment of lives and livelihoods of world communities.

Harnessing the strengths of potential stakeholders and adopting different collaborative and partnership models like co-financing, technical, research, knowledge-based, will help in fulfilling immediate concerns of better health and secured jobs for people of the world. The broad agenda of partnership would entail creation and expansion of potential employment opportunities at a large scale for providing livelihoods security, introduction of new innovative products/ services with positive impacts for enabling health security, commitment to climate change goals, reduction in carbon emissions, prevention of biodiversity loss, elimination of inequalities etc. for ensuring human security.

Economic growth and prosperity is a key determinant leading to better and bright future. Businesses, the prime drivers of economic development, find it difficult to operate successfully in a fragile environment which has human inequalities, degraded natural eco-systems etc. As islands of opulence cannot survive in oceans of deprivation and poverty, there is a greater need of multi-stakeholder partnerships for shaping a positive future for all inhabitants of this planet.

One of the recent concerns is the economic empowerment of the displaced, unemployed, labour migrants, by restoring and providing livelihoods to millions who have been left redundant in the pandemic, and in this context, businesses have a pivotal role to play for generating jobs. Globally, majority of businesses are fretted with serious challenges of survival and revival, owing to disruption of their operations, although there are some exceptions where some industry sectors engaged in essential products and services, and others, have performed exceedingly well in these distressing times. Many corporates are now being faced with insurmountable issues and pressures with their increased roles, responsibilities and expectations. They are looking for recovery, bouncing back, sustaining jobs of employees, maintaining supply chains while striving to enlarge the potential business scope, fulfilling corporate responsibility, achieving sustainability and engaging in philanthropic initiatives by pooling resources for managing Covid-19 crisis at country levels. All of these, while remaining committed to address issues of climate change and the SDGs.

Along with the continued support of governments at country levels to their corporates, through their country-specific policies, investment friendly and favourable business environment, new emergent opportunities can be explored for public-private (government and corporates) partnerships in different sectors of economy. This will help boost and accelerate the process of development, within countries and impacting globally.

A healthy planet with happy communities can become a reality, when there is a convergence of positive synergies by all countries, while respecting the uniqueness of each nation, and demonstrating empathy for the natural and human capital of the world. A strong political will, deep commitment and visionary leadership through strategic collaborations can be instrumental in making this world a better place to live in.

The United Nations along with multilateral /international agencies is a great facilitator for enabling partnerships and collaborations with multi-stakeholders across governments, corporates/businesses and civil society. The collective strength of nations can prove to be a harbinger of change for re-building better future.

The guiding mantra of * Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam* from ancient Indian scriptures, is highly relevant which signifies that the World is One Family. The spirit of brotherhood and oneness, should permeate amongst all people and nations of the world, demystifying the planetary boundaries. The time is now and here, to put the words into action to re-build a new, better and resilient world. All the nations must rise and unite in peace, nurture and care for each other to become One Happy Family – One World !

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