The Dutch Prime Minister Rutte recently said that “by working together, in a collective effort, we can make a difference.”
He was speaking at the General Meeting of the United Nations about the new Sustainable Development Goals – and he was right.
Peace and human rights, health and well-being, our climate, protection of ecosystems, a better world for children. The new UN Sustainable Development Goals are quite rightly bigger and bolder than the Millennium Goals, but to achieve them all by 2030, we need to learn bigger and bolder levels of cooperation.
We also need to learn from the past.
That’s because reaching the old Millennium Goals was largely left up to governments, with little focus on alliances between companies and NGOs. Even when companies and aid organizations did come together, it was nearly always the old-fashioned notion of charity: the company donated money, the good cause received it.
Of course this money makes a difference, but it makes problems, too. What if a company hits economic hardship? Or decides it’s going to support a different organization?
To overcome all this, Philips and UNICEF decided to build a new, deeper and more connected way of working together, specifically on ‘Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages,’ one of our mutually chosen Sustainable Development Goals.
This particular goal was chosen because all over the world, women are still dying unnecessarily in childbirth, and children are still dying from easily curable illnesses, such as diarrhea and pneumonia. And how the goal will be reached is this: Philips and UNICEF will pioneer together, co-create, learn with and from one another and explore areas where both parties already have a presence but where we’ve never ‘met.’