Saxon Prime Minister Engages UNU-FLORES in the Transformation of the Lignite Mining Region

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  • 2019/06/18     Dresden, Germany

    Image: Sächsische Staatskanzlei

    On 12 June 2019 UNU Rector Dr David M. Malone and UNU-FLORES Director Prof. Edeltraud Guenther met with the Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony, Mr Michael Kretschmer. At the meeting, the parties discussed the developments of the Institute across its first years in Saxony and the way forward. In particular, the Prime Minister was interested to deepen cooperation with UNU-FLORES and to increase the visibility of the experiences of the Institute, in the transformation process of Saxony’s lignite mining areas.

    “Saxony is a host to the United Nations: an institute of the United Nations University, UNU-FLORES, has been active around the world from Dresden since 2012. The Institute is making an important contribution to the sustainable and efficient use of water, soil, and waste resources; the solutions to which are very relevant to the imminent structural transformation of the East German lignite mining region. It is for this reason that the Free State of Saxony is striving for closer cooperation and integration of this internationally renowned and connected Institute, with our economic and social partners in Lusatia and Central Germany,” Mr Kretschmer stated.

    During the meeting, the Prime Minster signed and presented Dr Malone and Prof. Guenther with a Letter of Engagement. In the Letter, Mr Kretschmer recognises UNU-FLORES’s unique role as a link between science, politics, and society, on the one hand, and between Saxony and the United Nations on the other. The letter emphasises his strong will to engage UNU-FLORES as a scientific partner in the transformation process in cooperation with traditional institutions as well as with startups in Saxony.

    The delegation from UNU-FLORES also included Prof. Rattan Lal, the Chair of the International Advisory Committee, and Ms Juliane Dziumla, Executive Associate to the UNU-FLORES Director. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Dr Stephan Rohde, Director General and focal point for the coordination of the structural development in Saxonian lignite mining regions, and Ms Marion Gündel, Desk Officer for International Relations. Acting through the State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (SMWK), the Free State of Saxony is one of UNU-FLORES’s core funders, alongside the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).