September 20, 2016

Partnerships: The Key to Advancing an Interconnected SDG Agenda

Written by Patrick McCrummen, Senior Director, Global Community Impact, Johnson & Johnson

“Behind every figure is a face, a life and a person who has needs that must be met.”
– Pape Gaye, President & CEO, IntraHealth

The progress made during the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) showed us all what’s possible when targets are set and partners come together to achieve a shared vision. Believing that the MDGs were about people, and that health is central to achieving a better world, Johnson & Johnson was proud to step forward in 2010 with a major commitment to advance the health of women and girls, no matter where they live. Thanks to our partners, those goals were set and exceeded: we reached more than 400 million women and children and provided them with the services and care they need to survive and thrive.

Yesterday at an event in New York, Johnson & Johnson announced a new commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — and a promise to keep women and children at the center of our policies and programs. This new commitment will not only build on past successes, but acknowledges the need for integrated, collaborative approaches to achieving the SDGs, and strong public-private partnerships for truly sustainable health solutions.

Focused on five key areas – women’s and children’s health, health workforce, essential surgery, global disease challenges and environmental health – Johnson & Johnson’s commitment recognizes that an integrated approach within our company, and involving partnerships and other sectors is key. The new commitment to the SDGs will bring expertise and resources to bear in the areas where we are uniquely positioned to make an impact.

During this event, journalist Femi Oke moderated a robust discussion that included Johnson & Johnson leaders as well as key partners and young leaders whose invaluable work and expertise will be critical to future success. The discussion highlighted priority areas and targets, and evolved into a candid conversation about what can, and what must be done to realize a vision for a healthy world.

Yemurai Nyoni, founder of Dot YOUTH and a Women Deliver youth ambassador, issued a passionate call to action. “This generation of young people will change the world. Sustainability is about the future, and whatever we hope to do, it needs to be rooted in empowering young people to take the lead and do the work that needs to be done.”

“Child mortality has been cut in half,” said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. “Now, we must meet the needs of the hardest to reach, those who were left behind. We know we can do it, and we know we have to do it.”

We know that with good health, children can thrive, women and girls can succeed, communities can prosper and countries can rise from poverty. Achieving this vision takes teamwork, robust data that highlights impacts and encourages change and ultimately, a concerted effort that puts people at the center.