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President Tony Chan recently joined with leaders of 57 universities from 30 countries and regions to release a joint statement calling for accelerated action for a more sustainable world.
KAUST President Tony
Chan recently joined with leaders of 57 universities from 30 countries and regions to release a joint statement calling for accelerated action for a more sustainable world. Chan joined rectors and presidents from Harvard, Yale, University College London, UC Davis, Northwestern, and the University of Toronto, among many others, in the historic, virtual signing event.
This marks the first time that leading universities across six continents have made a joint statement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development, adopted by United Nations Member States in 2015 as a shared blueprint for global peace and prosperity. The statement comes at a time when the world is facing a pressing need to scale up efforts to deliver on the 2030 Agenda, whose progress has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other numerous global challenges ranging from climate change to inequality.
"As an institution, KAUST is heavily invested in the science and the technologies that support global attainment of the sustainable development agenda outlined by the UN. Our focus on food, water, energy and environment, supported by our new initiatives into smart health and artificial intelligence, is dedicated to serving humanity, and by extension, the urgent needs of our precious planet," Chan said.
Universities have been known for their distinctive advantages in generating knowledge, uniting stakeholders and enabling transformation, and are expected to play a more significant role in safeguarding a sustainable future.
In the statement, university leaders reaffirmed their commitment to solidarity, resilience and prosperity, and pleaded to work towards a shared vision through education, research, innovation and partnership.
The statement was announced at a virtual forum held by China's Zhejiang University on March 24. The
forum featured a diverse group of speakers including Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, and leaders of 14 universities around the world. Focused on the role of universities in the 2030 Agenda, the forum has helped to forge a dialogue on paths forward among multiple stakeholders.
Read the full statement and the list of signatories