On 9 July 2019, an innovative gateway entitled UN SDG:Learn was launched at the Opening Session of the SDGs Learning, Training and Practice Center on the sidelines the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

UN SDG:Learn is a joint initiative of UNITAR and UN System Staff College, inspired by the successful implementation of UNITAR’s another partnership UN CC:Learn. UN SDG:Learn was created to address the learning needs of the SDG learners from the public sector, private sector, academia and citizens at large and to enable them to identify the learning offers that are best suited to their specific needs. The initiative will be structured around three components: a Platform, a Partnership, and a Programme. The Platform represents a gateway to the wealth of learning solutions of 40+ partners from UN family, academia and private sector, that provides an opportunity to the users to find their perfect match - the most suitable SDG learning solution - in just one click.

The inauguration of UN SDG:Learn commenced with opening remarks of Mr. Nikhil Seth, Executive Director of UNITAR, and Mr. Jafar Javan, Executive Director, UNSSC, as the two agencies providing the Secretariat for the initiative. Mr. Nikhil Seth among other noted that the interface of the platform is youth friendly, fitting their learning habits to learn in a fast and interactive way. The platform will also provide access to an SDG primer for resident coordinators. Mr. Seth expressed an enthusiasm regarding the collective effort involving so many partners and urged the diverse stakeholders present at the launch to ponder over and voice their learning needs, with a special emphasis on the possible role of social media for youth. Mr. Jafar Javan. Executive Director of UNSSC, highlighted the advantages of effective and transformative learning that UN SDG:Learn aims to provide.

The opening remarks followed by a demo session by UNITAR and UNSSC representatives Mr. Einar Bjorgo, Mr. Patrick Van Weerelt, Ms. Elena Proden and Ms.. Paulyn Duman and short remarks of other UN SDG:Learn partners who talked about the expected advantages and the reasons for why they joined the initiative. The speakers included: Ms. Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary of UNESCWA, Mr Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary of UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General of International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Ms. Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Ms. Anne-Marie Helland, Director, Sustainability & International Development, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC Norway),  and Ms. Florencia Librizzi, Head of Program and Partnerships, SDG Academy, Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). 

Ms. Rola Dashti noted that UN SDG:Learn shows the importance of ensuring coherence through partnerships and collaboration that also help communicate and disseminate high-quality learning solutions. Mr. Malcolm Johnson stressed that the fact that 40+ partners had already joined the initiative signals that there was a big need for this platform.

The launch session has concluded with a fruitful discussion and exchanges on learning needs and solutions for the SDGs from the representatives of Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Switzerland, and Italy, as well as around 45 other participants from UN Agencies, academia, private sector among others.

Check out the platform yourself here: www.unsdglearn.org


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