U21 gains Consultative Status with UN body
Universitas 21 (U21), the leading network for international higher education, has been recommended for Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The recommendation was made at the end of January 2010 by the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and places Universitas 21 among the first inter-university networks to receive such recognition.
Consultative arrangements are made for the purpose of enabling the Council or one of its bodies to secure expert information or advice from organisations having special competence in the subjects for which consultative arrangements are made. It also enables international, regional, and national organisations that represent important elements of public opinion to express their views.
Professor John Casteen, Chair of the Universitas 21 network and President of the University of Virginia welcomed the announcement, saying “We believe this represents in particular external recognition of Universitas 21’s work in the areas of human capital development through our engagement with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and other associated projects, and of the commitment of all our members to the application of knowledge to address real world problems.”
The most recent initiative undertaken by the U21 network in this area of research is its Food Security Workshop in late 2009, which provided a platform for a meaningful and focused discussion between Food Security experts in the network and those in U21’s key partner institutions in the Global South. The workshop set the agenda for collaboration in teaching and research between U21 institutions and the Global South around Food Security themes for the next five years and a number of related projects were born as a result of this collaboration.