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About UNAI

About UNAI

Young engineers at Nagaoka University of Technology (Japan) discuss how they see the future in 2045. Photo credit: Nagaoka University of Technology

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in supporting and contributing to the realization of United Nations goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.

Since 2010, UNAI has created a vibrant and diverse network of students, academics, scientists, researchers, think tanks, institutions of higher education, continuing education and educational associations.  There are over 1400 member institutions in more than 147 countries that reach over 25 million people in the education and research sectors around the world representing a global diversity of regions and a thematic wealth of disciplines.

The work of these institutions is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as they serve as incubators of new ideas and solutions to the many global challenges we face.  United Nations Academic Impact provides the integral link to these stakeholders to ensure that the international community harnesses the energy and innovation of young people and the research community in service to humanity.

United Nations Academic is informed by a commitment to suport and advance ten basic principles:

1. Addressing Poverty – A commitement to addressing issues of poverty through education;

2. Capacity Building – A commitement to building capacity in higher education systems across the world;

3. Education for All – A commitement to educational opportunity for all people regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity;

4. Global Citizenship – A commitement to encouraging global citizenship through education;

5. Access to Higher Education – A commitement to the opportunity for every interested individual to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for the pursuit of higher education;

6. Human Rights – A commitement to human rights, among them freedom of inquiry, opinion and speech;

7. Intercultural Dialogue – A commitement to promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding, and the “unlearning” of intolerance through education;

8. Peace and Conflict Resolution – A commitement to advancing peace and conflict resolution through education;

9. Sustainability – A commitement to promoting sustainability through education; and

10. United Nations Charter – A commitement to the principles inherent in the United Nations Charter.

Every subject and discipline can have a UN imprint. We want relevant institutions to recognize this link and, often without additional effort or expense, undertake activities that can directly support United Nations mandates and objectives.

UNAI assists stakeholders in this regard by disseminating information on UN initiatives and activities, providing ideas on how these activities can be applied at the local level on college campuses, in classrooms and in communities, and by providing a platform where university students, academics and researchers can connect and share ideas, research and resources to further the Sustainable Development Goals and other UN mandates.

There is no cost or fee for universities to join UNAI. The sole responsibility is for each member institution to actively demonstrate support of at least one of the 10 UNAI principles or Sustainable Development Goals each year. It is our hope that this support can find reflection in the United Nations’ own policies and programmes, allowing for a sharing of experiences and effective practices as well as the infusion of scholarship to advance social, economic and sustainability objectives.