Five leading Australian universities have become the first signatories to a landmark University Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The University of Adelaide, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the University of Technology, Sydney, and James Cook University have agreed to play their part in achieving the SDGs, including to support and promote the SDGs through their research, education and operations, as well as report on activities in support of the goals.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year by all countries at the United Nations, came into effect on 1 January 2016. They aim to make our world more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable and include goals for health, education, gender equality, jobs, climate change, the environment and justice. The goals apply to all countries including Australia and will guide global development to 2030.
In signing the University Commitment to the SDGs, the universities have agreed to utilise their research and education resources to advance the SDGs. They have also agreed to contribute to achievement of the SDGs by ensuring their campuses and programs are environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.
Universities have a critical role to play in achieving the SDGs. Through teaching they equip the next generation of leaders, innovators and decision makers with the knowledge and skills to address sustainable development challenges. Through research and technical expertise they are at the forefront of developing practical solutions to the social, economic, environmental challenges of the SDGs. Finally, by supporting the goals through their own operations, governance and community leadership, universities can set an example to other sectors.
The Commitment is an initiative of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) – Australia/Pacific. SDSN is a global network of universities and knowledge institutions launched by the UN Secretary General to mobilise global scientific and technological expertise in support of sustainable development and the SDGs. SDSN Australia/Pacific is working to build university leadership in implementing the SDGs in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
SDSN Australia/Pacific will announce the Commitment at the Australian SDGs Summit, which takes place in Sydney on 7 September 2016. The Summit is bringing together representatives from government, business, civil society and academia on implementation of the SDGs.
See also news articles from the signatories:
SDSN Australia/Pacific welcomes universities in Australia, NZ and the Pacific that are interested in signing the Commitment to contact the SDSN Australia/Pacific Secretariat on firstname.lastname@example.org.