UCD to join United Nations Academic Impact: Special Event on 11th May 2021 on the role of Universities to address urgent global challenges through teaching and research.

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To mark UCD’s membership of UNAI, UCD Earth Institute is hosting a discussion on Tue, 11 May 2021, 15:00 – 16:30 IST, on the role of universities to address urgent global challenges through teaching and research.  Prof Orla Feely (Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact, UCD) will open the event and welcome Mr Ramu Damodaran, chief of UNAI. Prof Patrick Paul Walsh (UCD School of Politics and International Relations) will outline UCD’s progress to align with UN and UNAI principles to date. Ramu Damodaran will outline the mission of UNAI, the benefits of membership and how researchers can play an active role in the organisation. This will be followed by a panel discussion with four UCD academics; Prof Tasman Crowe, Dr Andrew Jackson, Prof Dolores O’Riordan, Prof Emma Teeling who will each speak to their own expertise and address respectively the challenges facing climate, oceans, biodiversity and food systems. These topics are important foci for UN dialogues and conferences in the coming year.  Speakers will explore the best way to engage in science-policy interface with the UN system.   

Please register for the event on Eventbrite.

University College Dublin has become a member of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in supporting and contributing to the realisation of UN goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution. 

UCD will be joining over 1400 member institutions in more than 147 countries. Membership indicates UCD’s commitment to being part of a global community aligned to the mission of the United Nations. UNAI is guided by ten principles Addressing Poverty, Capacity Building in higher education systems, Education for All, Global Citizenship, Access to Higher Education,  Human Rights, Intercultural Dialogue, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Sustainability, alignment to the United Nations Charter.

UCD has a strong tradition of education, research, governance and engagement linked to human development and sustainability across the whole university. In terms of sustainability, UCD was recently ranked number 22 in the the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, an increase of 12 places compared to 2020’s benchmarks of universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  In its new strategy, Rising to the Future 2020-24, UCD has committed to sustainable development as a strategic theme. The university recently published its first Sustainability Report outlining a structured programme designed to embed the SDGs across the University’s core activities.

UCD played a role in the development of the SDGs through the advocacy of Professor Patrick Paul Walsh, UCD School of Politics and International Relations, who represented universities as a member of the UN Major Group for Science and Technology in the intergovernmental negotiations on the SDGs. UCD has special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council as a Non-Governmental Actor.  UCD offers many undergraduate and postgraduate courses strongly aligned to UNAI principles and has recently launched the BSc Sustainability which explores the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability. UCD also hosts the M.Sc. in Sustainable Development in partnership with UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.