2016/07/04 Dresden, Germany
Citing the Institute’s recent presentation at UNESCO in Paris, the Chair of UNU-FLORES’s International Advisory Committee (IAC) Prof. Rattan Lal (USA) praised the Institute for making a “tremendous contribution in the global sphere”. He said this in his Opening Remarks of UNU-FLORES’s Third Annual Session of the IAC since its inception. Recalling the early days of the Institute, he recounted how impressively the Institute has grown from year to year, now boasting 27 staff from 15 different countries. Addressing the full staff was also Dr David Malone (Canada), Rector of UNU/Under-Secretary-General of the UN.
This year Prof. Lal was joined by Prof. Karl-Heinz Feger (Germany), Prof. Ana Mondjana (Mozambique), Prof. Adelaide Cassia Nardocci (Brazil), and Prof. Wim van Vierssen (the Netherlands), achieving full attendance of the IAC. Together the Members had the opportunity to meet with the UNU Rector, all UNU-FLORES staff, and representatives of the German Federal and Saxon State governments to discuss the progress and plans of the Institute.
Over the course of two days (30 June–1 July 2016), IAC members met with academic and support staff to discuss and provide guidance on the work and strategic plans.
Among the traditional report on the activities of the Institute’s activities, budget implementation and staffing developments, this year UNU-FLORES also presented a new Fundraising Strategy. The Strategy, which was warmly received and adopted by the Committee, outlines plans for soliciting funds from third-party sources to achieve a more diverse funding base to support the execution of the Institute’s undertakings.
This year’s session also saw the unveiling of the UNU-FLORES Quality Assurance Framework. The United Nations University as a whole has committed itself to improve indicators and monitoring processes across the organisation. The Framework developed by UNU-FLORES is a complimentary contribution to this process. The Quality Assurance Framework, which has been adopted by the Advisory Committee at this session, sets a precedent for the future monitoring and evaluation of the Institute’s projects and activities. Following this session, the Advisory Committee Members convened with representatives from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (SMWK) to discuss future strategic plans for the Institute.
A highlight of this year’s Meeting was the visit to the grounds of SMWK, where the Committee was welcomed by the State Minister Dr Eva-Maria Stange and convened a briefing session. During the briefing, UNU Rector and UNU-FLORES IAC Chair briefed H.E. Dr Stange on the achievements and developments at UNU-FLORES. In return, the Minister expressed appreciation of the Institute’s work and growth in such a short timeframe. Acknowledging the importance of the Dresden Nexus Conference, H.E. Dr Stange emphasised that UNU-FLORES’s role as a hub has positively increased international recognition of Dresden and its potential. She encouraged the Institute to expand collaboration with other Saxon-based institutes, and indicated the intention of the Saxon Government to continue funding the Institute on a long-term basis, including looking into matters of new more permanent premises.
On the final day of the session, the Advisory Committee was kept abreast with the developments of UNU-FLORES on both the academic and research fronts. The PhD researchers in the Doctoral Degree Programme in Integrated Management of Water, Soil and Waste jointly coordinated by UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden presented on their diverse research themes. Key accomplishments and projects undertaken were also highlighted, in review of the four-year-old Institute.
In their concluding remarks, all members of the IAC praised the considerable achievements of UNU-FLORES in the short period of three years and expressed clear support of the strategic plans and ongoing activities of the Institute.
The Advisory Committee is an organ providing advice and guidance to the Director of UNU-FLORES, Prof. Reza Ardakanian, 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 elected Prof. Rattan Lal as Chairman and 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.