2021/06/25 Dresden, Germany
In his opening remarks, United Nations University (UNU) Rector Dr David Malone commented on the significant challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about and how UNU has adapted to them. While the concept of working remotely has proven to be very productive, the social aspect of working in the office should not be neglected.
UNU-FLORES Director Prof. Edeltraud Guenther began her reporting by laying out the Institute’s focus points identified in the institutional Implementation Plan and in line with the Strategic Plan endorsed by the Advisory Committee (AC). UNU-FLORES commits to serving UNU as the academic arm of the United Nations (UN) and, as such, expands its involvement in cross-organisational initiatives, such as Prof. Guenther’s appointment as UNU’s focal point to the UN Environmental Management Group. UNU-FLORES research approaches the Resource Nexus analytically considering the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aiming at operationalisation while incorporating cross-cutting topics, such as health and transformation regions.
Prof. Guenther presented further updates on employment opportunities connected to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute’s involvement in proposals for large-scale research centres in Saxony, and ongoing and coming research projects in the Global South. As part of the Implementation Plan, the Theory of Change guides all activities at UNU-FLORES, focusing on input-to-impact to achieve policy impact through advocacy. In a lively discussion, the AC members shared their ideas and suggestions to further strengthen the Institute’s research profile and increase its visibility.
Subsequently, UNU-FLORES Communications and Advocacy Lead Atiqah Fairuz Salleh introduced the Institute’s approach to developing an advocacy concept. Among others, it intends to focus on driving policy change, streamlining efforts and resources, and securing financial sustainability through strong branding and visibility. The AC members recommend employing outreach tactics and exploring potential collaborators to utilise access to multiple publics. Christina Froemder, UNU-FLORES’s Scientific Coordinator of Sustainability and Innovation Management, continued the discussion round by sketching the Institute’s exploration into a future Knowledge Academy.
In the final segment of this year’s meeting, the AC members met with representatives of the Institute’s, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism (SMWK) of the Free State of Saxony and discussed potential ways forward in the coming years. Before closing the meeting, the AC members expressed sincere appreciation to the donors for their continued support of UNU-FLORES. Likewise, their representatives conveyed the donors’ gratitude to the AC members for their expert advice to and support of the Institute.
The Advisory Committee is an organ providing advice and guidance to the Director of UNU-FLORES, in accordance with the general principles, policies, and criteria formulated by the Council of the United Nations University to govern the activities of the University. Each Advisory Committee member, appointed by the Rector in consultation with the Chairman of the Council of the University, serves in their individual capacity and has been selected in virtue of their experience, qualifications, and recognised competence in the disciplines and practices related to the purposes of UNU-FLORES. The Rector of the University and the Director of UNU-FLORES are ex-officio members of the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee meets in regular session at least once a year, as convened by the Director.
For more information about the AC members, please visit the Advisory Committee page.