From the Secretary-General

Secretary-General’s video message on the Tenth Anniversary of the United Nations Academic Impact
(18 November 2020)

[Watch the video on]

On the 10th anniversary of United Nations Academic Impact, I congratulate its member institutions on their contributions and commitment to advancing peace, human rights, sustainability and global citizenship.

In its first decade, this initiative has created a vibrant network of students, scientists, researchers, think tanks, higher education institutions and educational partners in nearly 150 countries. Its hubs for the Sustainable Development Goals, and its Millennium Fellowship programme, have helped to advance intellectual social responsibility.

Today, your efforts can be especially useful in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing the climate crisis and promoting digital cooperation for the common good. I encourage you to bring your best energies and ideas to these challenges as we strive to develop vaccines, combat misinformation, and achieve climate neutrality by the year 2050.

I have long admired the historian A.J.P. Taylor, who reminded us that there are times in history where we reached a turning point but failed to turn. The juncture we face right now – our own 1945-moment as the United Nations marks its 75th anniversary – must not become one of those missed opportunities.

Education is one of the world’s great enablers of progress. Thank you for being part of the United Nations Academic Impact, and promoting a “movement of minds” that can lead us towards more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future for all.