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UN private sector focal points meet in Geneva to discuss business partnerships


Close to 80 representatives of UN agencies gathered at Centre International de Conférences (CICG) in Geneva on 2-3 October for the seventh annual conference of UN private sector focal points. Titled “Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Collaboration throughout the Partnership Life Cycle”, the meeting offered participants the opportunity to share experiences and build upon lessons learned in the context of evolving UN-business partnerships.

This year’s meeting was co-hosted by the UN Office for Partnerships, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Global Compact Office. Discussions focused on issues and challenges linked to the key stages of the partnership life cycle – beginning with strategic planning, through to evaluation and renewal. Specific sessions were organised on the UN Business guidelines; partnership selection and risk management; developing partnership agreements; core-business approaches to partnerships; communicating partnership success and partnership assessment and evaluation.

Several business representatives, including from Unilever, Shell and IKEA, were also invited to share their motivations with regard to UN-business collaboration and provide their perspectives on the benefits and results that these partnerships can achieve.