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April 1, 2021

Global University Leaders Commit to Joint Action on Reaching UN 2030 Sustainability Goals at an Online Event hosted by Zhejiang University in China.

Universities Forum


Photo: University presidents from 30 countries unite to announce action on climate change. March 30, 2021. Image provided by Zhejiang University.

HANGZHOU, China, March 31, 2021 — On March 30, 2021, university presidents from 30 countries united for the first time to announce action on climate change. They signed a Joint Statement of Global University Leaders 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UN officials witnessed the event.

That first global online forum for university leaders was hosted by Zhejiang University in China. Presidents from 56 universities across six continents committed to working together to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The initiative includes five key aspects all signatories have agreed:

Among the top 50 universities on the QS World University Rankings, 80% have developed their university-level sustainability strategy, plans, or operational activities. According to Zhaohui Wu, President of Zhejiang University (ZJU), the forum’s purpose was to bring together leaders from some of the best universities to share these visions and best practices on SDGs and explore opportunities for potential cooperation in safeguarding a sustainable future.

With less than nine years to meet targets and the pandemic slowing progress, the forum allowed leaders to share essential expertise on how to scale up efforts to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. The event gave academics a platform to clearly outline their action plans for human-oriented, innovation-driven, and down-to-earth sustainable development.

UN officials, including Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General, and Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, joined the speakers’ panel. The speakers included Peter Salovey, President of Yale University; Pam Fredman, President of the International Association of Universities; and Eric Labaye, President of Ecole Polytechnique.

Speakers reinforced how universities can work together to harness technology’s power to expand access to quality education. They also discussed how they should draw on their academic ecosystem to support scientific collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines.

Universities that have signed the initiative include:

Zhejiang University (ZJU) is an elite university located in Hangzhou, China. Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China’s oldest and prestigious institutions of higher education.

Source: Zhejiang University

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 9:22 AM | Link to this Post

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