The University of Ottawa, represented by President and Vice-Chancellor Jacques Frémont, recently joined leaders of 57 other universities from around the world to release a joint statement calling for accelerated action for a more sustainable world.
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.
uOttawa was recently recognized for its commitment to sustainability by The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which highlights institutional contributions to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This April, uOttawa had a strong showing in several areas, ranking:
- 2nd in the U15 and 9th globally in SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
- 3rd in the U15 and 29th globally in SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, and
- 10th in the U15 and 74th globally in SDG 17: Partnering for the Goals.
The joint 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.
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 see the list of signatories here.