International partnerships is our vehicle for change

By Jutta Urpilainen

2020 has tested us all in ways we could not have imagined this time last year. In difficult times, there is sometimes a tendency to turn inwards, and get sucked into our own problems. However, as a global community, we have not fallen into that trap. Together we are moving towards something new and better, not the same old.

At the Paris Peace Forum, the entire international community gathers not only to continue to respond to the crisis but also to build a better, greener, more equal and sustainable post-COVID world. It is the perfect platform for multilateralism in action and a testament to the strength of our international partnerships.

The EU has been a strategic partner of the Paris Peace Forum since its launch in 2018. We will be there again this year, eager and ready to team up and partner with all and for all. Solidarity and multilateralism are what we are. These fundamental values guide our external action, including our efforts to deliver a global recovery.

Working together as ‘Team Europe’, the EU, Member States and financial and implementing institutions, have been leading international efforts to help our partners deal with the fallout of the pandemic. We are also hard at work charting a recovery that does not repeat the mistakes of the past.

It is crucial for all of us and future generations to adopt a sustainable growth model that is green, digital, socially just and resilient. The EU proposes a Global Recovery Initiative linking debt relief and investments to the Sustainable Development Goals and comes together to harness partnerships worldwide to make that happen.

This is also why the Finance in Common Summit taking place at the Paris Peace Forum is so important. It is the first ever gathering of public development banks, crucial partners in our quest to redirect global finance towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Together they represent 10% of global investment flows, and can help us bring together the short-term response to the crisis with sustainable recovery measures impacting our planet and societies in the long run.

The EU and Team Europe come with high ambition and deliverables to the Paris Peace Forum and the Finance in Common Summit. Our External Investment Plan steers investments towards green and sustainable objectives for the highest development impact, and I am glad that we will be showcasing new actions in Paris. The potential for jobs, growth and skills in a sustainable and fair world is huge.

We want to succeed together. We want to build new momentum for the global recovery. And we want to work with all partners, because together we are stronger. The international partnerships truly are our best vehicle for global change.

Views expressed in this publication are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paris Peace Forum.

As European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms Jutta Urpilainen oversees the European Commission’s work on international cooperation and sustainable development.
Before joining the Commission, Ms Urpilainen served as a Member of the Finnish Parliament from 2003 to 2019. In 2008, she became the first woman leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. From 2011 to 2014, she served as Finland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. During that time, she became closely involved in development issues, joining the Development Committee of the World Bank Group and IMF and chairing the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. She served as the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation (2017–19) and chaired the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO (2015–18).

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