5 February 2024, Majmaah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - UNITAR, in collaboration with its affiliated centre CIFAL Saudi Arabia, proudly announces the successful completion of the "Universities and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030: Targets and Practices" Conference. This significant event, under the esteemed patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Education in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Yousef Al-Benyan, and organized by CIFAL Saudi Arabia in strategic partnership with Majmaah University, NEOM, Alinma Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, and Times Higher Education, was held on January 22-23, 2024, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The conference was inaugurated by Professor Saleh Al-Mezel, representing the Minister, and showcased a convergence of global university presidents, distinguished academics, and higher education leaders. This gathering underscored the critical role academic institutions play in driving sustainable futures, aligning with UNITAR's mission of fostering sustainable development through knowledge and learning.
Over two days, the conference's rich agenda focused on four central themes, designed to both echo global sustainability goals and highlight Saudi Arabia's unique commitment to these objectives. These discussions and panels offered insightful perspectives on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in academic contexts.
The event featured an impressive lineup of speakers, including Professor Allam Ahmed from the Queen Mary University of London, His Excellency Ambassador Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, His Excellency Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Ambassador Csaba Kőrösi, Ambassador Laszlo Molnar, and Mr. Duncan Ross. Their contributions provided a comprehensive view of sustainability, blending global insights with local relevance.
Key sessions led by Dr Abdullah Al-Muhaisen and Dr Bashaer Al-Rumaih delved into the complex goals of sustainable development and the integration of Saudi Vision 2030 with the SDGs. The conference also highlighted global expertise from speakers like Professor Magdy Salama and Dr. Silvia Niera, showcasing the importance of international cooperation in this field.
An art exhibition complemented the intellectual discussions, symbolizing the commitment to diverse expressions of sustainability and the role of creativity and innovation in achieving the SDGs.
The conference concluded with an inspiring session by Mr. Alex Mejia, Head of the Global CIFAL Network, emphasizing the collective responsibility in realizing the SDGs. Professor Musallam Al-Dosari’s concluding remarks set the stage for future collaborations, encapsulating the vision of the conference.
This event not only demonstrated Saudi Arabia's leadership in integrating sustainability into education but also highlighted UNITAR and CIFAL Saudi Arabia's commitment to mobilizing academic institutions globally in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.