Italian energy major ENI and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) signed 17 July a Joint Declaration, setting up a new, pioneering public-private cooperation model aimed at helping reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi and UNIDO’s Director General Li Yong signed the declaration in the presence of Giorgio Marrapodi, director general for Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation.

“Partnerships between the private and the public sector are crucial to foster development and improve access to energy around the world,” Descalzi said. “This Joint Declaration underlines our commitment to share know-how, skills and economic resources to become a driving force for the growth of communities and countries where we operate,” he added.

For his part, the UNIDO Director General said establishing multi-stakeholder partnerships is crucial to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. “UNIDO actively seeks cooperation arrangements with business sector stakeholders, and ENI and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation share our ambition to promote the public-private cooperation approach with additional partners,” he said.

According to ENI, the Declaration outlines a new, pioneering cooperation model between the private sector and an international organisation through which partners work together and leverage each other’s expertise to enhance the effectiveness of the project.

The ENI-UNIDO cooperation aims to contribute reaching the SDGs targets through a strategic cooperation focused on areas of common interest such as youth employment, agriculture value chains and renewable energy and energy efficiency, particularly in Africa. Moreover, it is expected that the cooperation will yield many more concrete business interactions that will lead to an increasing number of public-private cooperation for Africa’s sustainable industrialisation.