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Partners in Sustainability: United Nations Development Programme

7/10/2023

Many of the sustainability challenges that we prioritize at Samsung – whether it be realizing a circular economy or optimizing energy efficiency – are enhanced through partnerships and collaborative initiatives with credible, knowledgeable, and innovative brands, environmental organizations, and industry groups. Together with these like-minded eco-friendly allies, we are putting our scale, global presence, and pioneering spirit to work on building a more sustainable and equitable future. As part of our “Partners in Sustainability” series, Samsung’s esteemed partner, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), shares their views on how tackling sustainable development challenges requires unparalleled cooperation. Since 2019, Samsung and UNDP have collaborated on advancing the SDGs through the Samsung Global Goals app and the Generation17 initiative.

Name:Gwynne Gauntlett
Title:Global Digital Fundraising and Marketing Lead
Partner:United Nations Development Programme
Years working together:4 years
Partnership focus:UNDP’s partnership with Samsung highlights the importance of integrating expertise, technology, innovation, and advocacy to effectively pursue the SDGs and inspire the next generation of global citizens to actively take meaningful actions
1. What does sustainability mean to the UNDP?

In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission coined the definition of sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Subsequently, in September 2015, the General Assembly embraced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, encompassing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Anchored in the principle of “leaving no one behind,” the 2030 Agenda underscores a comprehensive approach to attaining sustainable development for all.

For UNDP, sustainability lies at the heart of its mission, guiding its work towards creating a more equitable and resilient world. By adopting an integrated approach that addresses environmental concerns, economic development, and peacebuilding, UNDP plays a crucial role in promoting global sustainability. To learn more about UNDP’s strategic plan, please visit this link.

2. What are the key sustainability goals of the UNDP and how do they contribute to the broader global agenda for sustainable development?

While UNDP is dedicated to achieving the 17 SDGs outlined in the 2030 Agenda, its specific attention lies in poverty and inequality reduction, governance, resilience, environment, energy, and gender equality. As the leading agency within the United Nations for international development, UNDP operates in 170 countries and territories to support in eradicating poverty and diminishing inequality. For instance, by 2022, 25 million people gained access to basic services, with support from 44 UNDP offices and 11 million benefited from jobs and improved livelihoods in crisis or post-crisis settings in 2022; 49% being female. UNDP also assists nations in policy development, leadership enhancement, partnership building, and institutional strengthening, all geared towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

It is crucial to recognize that UNDP’s approach is multidimensional and interconnected, addressing the interdependencies between various SDGs to foster sustainable development worldwide. Visit this link to read UNDP’s Annual Report 2022.

UNDP-PE-indigenous-peoples-Amazon-forest-Goal13-Goal2-17

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

3. How important is it to leverage innovation and technology to raise awareness and promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

In today’s rapidly evolving world, the significance of leveraging innovation and technology to raise awareness and promote the SDGs cannot be overstated. Without the advancements brought about by technology, we would not only be disconnected from the reality of our global challenges but also miss out on crucial opportunities to address the “Global Goals” outlined in the 2030 Agenda. In fact, flagship research by UNDP and the University of Denver found that targeted investments in digitalization, social protection, and the green economy could cut the number of people living in extreme poverty by 146 million by 2030. Hence, UNDP has made substantial investments in transforming into a digitally proficient organization that not only utilizes cutting-edge technology in its own operations but also assists developing nations in leveraging the benefits of the digital revolution.

We believe that, by harnessing the power of technology, fostering awareness, and promoting the SDGs, we are able to effectively reach and engage with a variety of audiences, inspire collective action, and mobilize resources to accelerate progress towards a sustainable future for all.

samsung-partners-in-sustainability-undp

The Samsung Global Goals app enables Galaxy users to actively participate in creating a more promising future by learning more about the SDGs.

4. Could you elaborate on the UNDP’s approach to partnering with companies like Samsung to achieve sustainability goals? How do these partnerships contribute to the overall mission of the UNDP?

Addressing the most pressing challenges to achieve sustainable development is a shared responsibility, and today, we witness growing partnerships between various sectors, working together to tackle these challenges head-on. At UNDP, we highly value private-public sector partnerships as they play a pivotal role in advancing the SDGs and generating widespread awareness about them, which remains one of our top priorities.

UNDP’s work with Samsung shows how a strong and uniquely innovative digital partnership can take shape. Partnerships like this have the potential to act as models for upcoming resource mobilization approaches across the private sector. UNDP’s partnership with Samsung highlights the importance of integrating expertise, technology, innovation, and advocacy to effectively pursue the SDGs and inspire the next generation of global citizens to actively take meaningful actions to achieve them.

5. What specific areas or projects have the UNDP and Samsung collaborated on to address sustainability challenges? How have these collaborations made a tangible impact on the ground?

Since 2019, Samsung and UNDP have collaborated on advancing the SDGs through the Samsung Global Goals app and the Generation17 initiative.

The Samsung Global Goals app offers Galaxy users the opportunity to familiarize themselves with all 17 SDGs and their impact on communities worldwide. Through the app, users actively contribute to the achievement of these Global Goals by learning about each goal and making direct donations to UNDP to support its ongoing development work. With the app already installed on over 300 million Galaxy devices globally and accessible in 92 different languages, it has significantly expanded UNDP’s global outreach. While the donations received through the app have surpassed $10 million so far, it’s important to note that the primary objective of the partnership is not financial. Instead, the focus lies on leveraging our organizational strengths to make a tangible impact in advancing the SDGs.

samsung-undp-generation17-cohort

Generation17 young leaders featured on the Samsung Global Goals app, so that users can engage with their work and feel inspired to join them in driving change.

Another significant collaboration within the partnership is Generation17, which places youth at the forefront of UNDP’s work. Through Generation17, UNDP and Samsung empower exceptional young leaders from diverse backgrounds worldwide, providing them with mentorship, access to Galaxy technology, and networking opportunities to advance their work and education towards the achieving the SDGs. Generation17 also fosters young leaders’ meaningful engagement by offering them a platform to share their insights with decision-makers, inspiring them with their innovative ideas and actions.

samsung-undp-ecosoc-youth-forum-2023-new-york

Generation17 young leaders, Daniel Calarco, Kristian Kampmann, and Thuy Anh Ngo, are seen in this photo, standing alongside other young leaders from around the world at the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2023, which took place in New York in April 2023.

6. Looking ahead, what are the future aspirations of the UNDP in terms of its partnership with Samsung to accelerate sustainable development? How do you envision this unique collaboration evolving in the coming years?

At this pivotal midpoint in our collective pursuit of achieving the 2030 Agenda and acknowledging the significant work that lies ahead, it is crucial that we continue to join forces and work together to drive action. The future is hopeful because more people than ever are working together for sustainable development, including through partnerships with UNDP. We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with Samsung, prioritizing initiatives such as raising awareness about the SDGs, expanding our impact, and fostering meaningful youth engagement, education, and empowerment.

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