Geneva, October 31. Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland and UNSSC Director Dr. Jafar Javan signed a partnership agreement for the design and delivery of leadership programmes. The partnership lays particular emphasis on achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and is the first of its kind for both institutions.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Commonwealth to enhance our efforts to support the UN and its partners in building a better understanding of the 2030 Agenda and its various facets to implement commitments to achieve this transformative, global priority,” said Dr. Javan during the signing ceremony.

Concurrently, the very first jointly designed learning programme – Leading for Sustainable Development – held its inaugural edition, with senior UN officials from across the world and Commonwealth country Ambassadors as well as NGO representatives in attendance. The programme is designed to equip leaders with key concepts and tools of systems thinking to address the interconnected and interdependent challenges of sustainable development.

“The 2030 Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals, is an ambitious and ground-breaking undertaking that requires us to rethink how the world approaches development. The partnership we are launching today with UNSSC will help equip leaders and managers who work in development with the skills needed to navigate the complexities of sustainable development and achieve lasting impact,” said Commonwealth Secretary-General Scotland.

The participants benefitted from the insights of world-renowned experts such as Dr. David Nabarro, former Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Mr. Michael Møller, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva. Discussions, mentoring and role-plays, as well as artistic and musical illustrations of the key concepts, contributed to the programme’s lively and action-oriented atmosphere.

Participants reported an enthusiastic 100% recommendation rate and indicated that the programme is extremely relevant and important for them in delivering on Agenda 2030. The second edition of the Leading for Sustainable Development Programme will take place in September 2019 and will be open to senior UN staff at the Director level, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinators, Agency and Country representatives and other senior staff operating in relevant fields of international cooperation and sustainable development.