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August 1, 2018

Higher Education Institutions remain committed to advancing the Global Sustainable Development Goals in collaboration with the United Nations

UNESCO, United Nations, Universities

Photo: United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed (left), meets with Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

UNESCO, United Nations, Universities

Photo: UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, speaks at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea while attending the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF-SD). Seoul, South Korea. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

New York: UNESCO, as a partner of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), joined the “Higher Education Sustainability Initiative Global Event,” held at United Nations Headquarters, at the margins of the High-level Political Forum 2018.

The global event for higher education institutions brought together diplomats, UN officials, education experts, university administrators and students to share their experiences and strategies for advancing the sustainable development agenda. University administrators from all over the world participated in the discussion, including from the University of São Paulo, Universidade de Cabo Verde, Universidad de Monterrey, Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, underscored that equal access to education for all men and women is a fundamental building block for sustainable peace and sustainable development.

Lily Gray, Senior Program Specialist and Liaison Officer from UNESCO’s New York office, moderated the session on highlighting innovative collaborations between Higher Education Institutions and the United Nations. In her opening remarks, Ms. Gray stressed the importance of Education for Sustainable Development, which empowers learners with knowledge, skills, and values they need to address the social, environmental and economic challenges of the 21st century. UNESCO representative emphasized that universities and higher education institutions have a pivotal role to play in Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, by contributing to analysis and diagnosis of sustainability challenges to inform policy, conducting research and providing advice on strengthening national education systems and capacity building for sustainable development across different sectors.

The interactive discussion explored how the world is integrating 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into sustainability strategies, research, teaching, pedagogy, and campus practices, and how it is positioning higher education institutions as crucial drivers for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), is a partnership between United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNESCO, United Nations Environment, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, United Nations University (UNU), UN-HABITAT, UNCTAD, and UNITAR. With commitments from over 300 universities from around the world, it provides higher education institutions with a unique interface between higher education, science, and policy-making.

UNESCO is the only UN agency with a mandate in higher education. As such, it contributes to developing evidence-based higher education policies. In line with Target 4.3 of Sustainable Development Goal 4 that says “by 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university,” UNESCO provides technical support to the Member States to review higher education strategies and policies in order to improve equitable access to quality higher education and enhance mobility and accountability. Through its UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, UNESCO partners with higher education institutions to advance teaching, learning and research that supports the development of sustainable knowledge societies.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 1:25 PM | Link to this Post

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