Celebrating Partnerships Around the World

Posted by Kris Balderston
December 21, 2012
President Obama's Video Message Plays at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai

We can achieve more together than we can alone.

That simple statement underscored the premise of the first Global Partnerships Week, which we marked December 9-15, 2012. I saw the power of partnerships firsthand in Dubai, where I participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and our Partners for a New Beginning initiative, while our embassies and missions around the world, from Japan to Brazil, spotlighted the value of partnering with the private sector.

Through educational and media events, competitions, and challenges, we've seen the State Department recognize the importance of collaborating with the private sector. In Honduras, for example, the Embassy launched a partnership with a local telecommunications company to provide Internet, cable, and phone access at youth outreach centers. In Haiti, Ambassador Pamela White hosted a reception for businesses and encouraged enhanced cooperation between the private sector and the government. And in Afghanistan, Embassy Kabul organized an on-the-record media roundtable to highlight the work of partnerships in promoting judicial reform.

These events are just a sampling of the many activities that took place during Global Partnerships Week, but it is important to note that partnerships are forming every week at the State Department. There is not a day that goes by that I have not heard about a new partnership launch or a new partnership idea. Three years ago, this wasn't the case.

In 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched the Global Partnership Initiative -- my office -- to serve as convener to bring people together to work on shared issues, a catalyst to kick-start new solutions to global challenges through collective action and innovation, and a collaborator to work with partners to plan and implement initiatives that strengthen diplomacy efforts and enhance development outcomes. Our office has gone from fielding a few calls a week about partnerships to becoming the central resource point in the State Department for all things partnership-related. And today, it gives me tremendous pride that we've established partnerships with over 1,100 entities and have secured over $650 million in public and private resources for initiatives that enhance U.S. foreign policy outcomes.

The uniqueness of our approach and commitment to partnering hit home as I participated in a partnerships event at the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, last week. The Summit, which serves as a premier forum for promoting economic growth and opportunities through entrepreneurship, brings together entrepreneurs, banks, venture capitalists, investors, and others to catalyze partnerships that strengthen diplomacy and development outcomes.

On December 11, I convened a roundtable event of over 100 high-level business executives, representatives from non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurs, and government officials. We discussed partnerships as a vehicle for promoting entrepreneurship through initiatives such as Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), which is a cross-cutting global network of business leaders, community representatives, and entrepreneurs in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.

These business leaders are committed to building local partnerships that promote economic opportunity, foster advances in science and technology, enhance educational opportunities, and catalyze exchanges to enhance mutual understanding in Muslim-majority nations in coordination with the U.S. State Department.

Through this innovative new partnership, we are redefining the way America interacts with Muslim-majority countries around the world. Since its inception in 2010, PNB has launched more than 180 new partnerships, has received commitments from the private sector to provide training opportunities for more than 40,000 in areas plagued by unemployment and will create almost 20,000 new jobs.

In our roundtable discussion, I was thrilled to hear the enthusiasm from business leaders to launch new partnerships to achieve even more in Muslim-majority countries.

The challenges the United States faces across the globe are enormous. We cannot tackle youth unemployment on our own, let alone climate change, income inequality, sustainable housing issues, or the many other challenges on our list. But through cooperation and collaboration with different actors, we can tackle important issues and impact millions. Join us.



David S.
South Africa
December 26, 2012

David in South Africa writes:

The global partnership is a strategy to help the sufferances of different kinds which should be disintegrated on behalf of the people who need assistance of peacekeepers. And the UN has the resources.

\Leo L.
Puerto Rico
December 26, 2012

Leo in Puerto Rico writes:

This is just Great!!!


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