GCU signs Accord to work with global institutions in addressing UN goals

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:34:00 BST
The SDG Accord inspires universities to deliver the UN goals
The SDG Accord inspires universities to deliver the UN goals

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has signed the SDG Accord, the university and college sector’s collective response to inspire, celebrate and advance the role of education in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

GCU was the first higher-education institution to use the goals - 17 global objectives to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all - to shape its research strategy. In signing the accord, launched by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) at its World Congress on September 9, GCU is committing to continue to strive to deliver the goals, to report annually on its progress and to share learning with other signatories around the world.

Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise and GCU’s Yunus Chair in Social Business and Health, Professor Cam Donaldson said: “The Sustainable Development Goals apply to all nations of the world, and, in this sense, they represent the most visible statement of our global needs. As The University for the Common Good, it is natural and logical for GCU to be taking a lead in signing the SDG Accord. Our Chancellor and Nobel Peace Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus, is a member of the UN-appointed SDG Advocacy Group.

"We were the first Scottish University to sign the UN Global Compact, which is essentially the world’s largest voluntary corporate responsibility partnership aimed at aligning companies’ operations with the universal principle of human rights, and we are one of only 30 members of the global PRME (Principles of Responsible Management Education) Champions Group in recognition of our academic leadership in this major initiative.

"In addition, the architecture for our recently refreshed GCU Research Strategy is provided by the SDGs, as just about all of our research is aimed at one of the 17 Goals, and we believe we are the first University to align our research in this way. So, we are delighted to join the Accord to work with institutions around the world to solve real societal challenges.”

Iain Patton, Chief Executive of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges, said: “The Accord is a huge step in the right direction to better show the world the value of universities, colleges and students. The education institutes responsible for moulding the minds of the next generation of leaders and change agents are accepting a central role in ending some of the most critical global challenges. We are collectively saying we will do everything in our power to address issues like gender inequality, poverty, hunger, lack of education, affordable energy, climate change, peace and resilience.

“This SDG Accord is the beginning of a total global transformation.”

GCUSDG AccordEnvironmental Association for Universities and CollegesProfessor Cam DonaldsonUN SDGs