A senior member of the United Nations has praised De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU's) strong support for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Maher Nasser, Director of the UN’s Department of Public Information Outreach Division, spoke yesterday evening, at one of the university’s summer graduation ceremonies, about DMU's new five-year strategic plan (2018-2023).
Mr Nasser praised the university's new strategic plan, which sets out the mission, values and strategic aims of the university for the next five years and has been crafted in line with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Addressing hundreds of students and their families ahead of the degree presentations, Mr Nasser announced that DMU had been chosen by the United Nations Academic Impact group as a ‘designated hub’ for SDG number 16 – the first university to be chosen as such.
The SDGs address global challenges such as hunger, health, education, climate change and social justice, aiming to ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
These hubs, said Mr Nasser, “recognise organisations that have taken the lead and mobilised others” in pursuit of a goal.
He said: “Through DMU’s efforts, students from all six continents have found their voice and confidence in taking practical steps to sustainable goal 16 and other selected goals.
“The visibility given to the SDGs in DMU’s strategic plan will undoubtedly spark curiosity. And curiosity in the hands of young people and nurtured within the walls of this university can help channel energy into activism, action and the creation of a better world.”
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SDG 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Mr Nasser, who has worked at a senior level at the UN for more than 30 years, serving in locations such as Gaza, Jerusalem, Cairo and New York, said he admired how the university was using the 17 goals through learning, teaching, research and student support.
As the lead HE institute in the UN’s #JoinTogether campaign – which was launched and developed through several visits with students to the UN’s headquarters in New York this year - DMU is building a network of universities and organisations around the world to address the SDGs.
Mr Nasser said: “Earlier this year I saw first-hand how DMU has taken a lead in supporting SDG number 16 – supporting peace, justice and strong institutions – through its inspirational launch of the global #JoinTogether network.”
He said that it was “the youth” who stood to benefit most from work to support the SDGs and urged the audience to take action, to “demand a place at the table, not wait to be invited".
Posted on Wednesday 18th July 2018