The Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to fast-track their sustainability, economic, and equality agenda.
The parties announced they will broaden existing cooperation to promote ocean economy, curb plastic pollution, support least-developed countries, bolster the digital economy and boost gender equality.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, and UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan, signed the five-year agreement at the UNCTAD Headquarters in Geneva on 31 August.
“I am delighted that we have renewed our partnership to support our members, especially small island states and least developed countries, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Scotland.
“With the world facing multiple crises from climate change to food insecurity, partnerships like ours are indispensable to help tackle these challenges.”
Grynspan added that stronger collaboration would enable the two organisations to contribute more to global efforts to tackle the multiple crises facing the world.
“We are pleased to expand our partnership and open a new phase of cooperation in which we will amplify our joint efforts in supporting developing countries to take coordinated action to address cascading crises and build a better future together,” she said.
The new MoU builds on a decade-long collaboration between the two organisations.
Under the partnership, the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNCTAD will continue to co-organise the biannual UN Oceans Forum, a key meeting on conserving and sustainably using the sea and its resources.
They will share data and information on the development and use of ocean-based goods and services, promote the ocean-based blue economy and circular economy, and assist member states in enabling a sustainable energy transition.
On the economic front, the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNCTAD said they will develop strategies to reduce poverty in vulnerable developing nations – especially least developed countries and small island developing states.
To tackle the debt crisis in developing countries, they will enhance reporting tools to support the new requirements of the World Bank’s external debt reporting system.
The cooperation agreement finally covers work to promote women’s economic empowerment, investment for development, e-commerce, and the digital economy.
Learn more: The Commonwealth Secretariat