UNITAR together with York University were proud to host on 31 May 2021 the official inauguration of Canada’s first Centre International de Formation des Acteurs et Leaders (CIFAL).  

H.E. Ambassador Bob Rae, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Ms. Katherine Chislett, Commissioner of Community & Health Services, York Region (Toronto Metro area) joined Dr. Rhonda Lenton, President & Vice-Chancellor of York University and Mr. Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNITAR on this special occasion and during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Universities have a crucial role to play in bringing governments and the international community together with experts and educators to develop solutions and train a new generation of global leaders.  York University is a leading international teaching and research university with a solid international reputation for being a welcoming and diverse community with a uniquely global perspective. 

York University serves as a hub for international initiatives aimed at sharing best practices and fostering partnerships with governments and organizations that contribute to the pursuit of the SDGs, including: 

  • The WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance (WHOCC)1 

  • The UNESCO Chair 2on Reorienting Teacher Education to address Sustainability - works in association with various entities towards promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) 

  • The Ecological Footprint Initiative3, which hosts a data centre at York, focusing on researching, investigating, mapping, and explaining humanity’s ecological footprint on the planet 

  • The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice and prevent youth homelessness. 

The International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders “CIFAL York” established by UNITAR and the York University reflects both organizations’ commitment to meet the crucial need to reinforce capacities and exchange good practices among local authorities, academic institutions, the private sector, and the United Nations.  

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