Joint statement

Joint Statement of Global University Leaders on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

March 24, 2021

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. Entering into the new decade, the sustainability of our planet remains severely challenged by numerous threats, ranging from natural disasters, climate change, pandemics, to inequality and unemployment, etc.

With less than 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda – it is more important than ever for the global community to mobilise for collective resolve and accelerated action. With their unique advantages in generating knowledge, uniting stakeholders and enabling transformation, leading universities around the world should play an active and essential role in forging a sustainable future through dialogue, solidarity and collaboration.

On the occasion of the Virtual Forum on the Role of Universities in the 2030 Agenda held March 24, 2021, we as university leaders across different continents wish to reaffirm our commitment to the 2030 Agenda. We commit to the following elements of a shared vision:

  • Imbedding sustainability across our activities, operations, monitoring and evaluation. Through unwavering examples, we will foster and promote sustainable development on and off campus.
  • Enhancing competencies in SDGs by empowering our students, faculty and staff with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to understand and address the SDGs.
  • Supporting a wider spectrum of research work needed to address global challenges, including blue-sky discovery and transdisciplinary research, and to better inform policy-making.
  • Fostering innovative solutions for sustainable development by engaging multiple stakeholders, including government, civil society and the private sector.
  • Leveraging technology and upholding open science where appropriate to facilitate sustainable partnerships and context-specific, problem-solving collaborations across borders.

Signatories in alphabetical order by institution (as of 9am GMT-8, April 6, 2021)

  1. Nikolaos G. Papaioannou, Rector, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  2. Way Kuo, President, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  3. Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor, Durham University, UK
  4. Eric Labaye, President, École Polytechnique, France
  5. Frank Baaijens, Rector Magnificus, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
  6. Rik Van de Walle, Rector, Ghent University, Belgium
  7. Lawrence S. Bacow, President, Harvard University, USA
  8. Satoshi Nakano, President, Hitotsubashi University, Japan
  9. Kiyohiro Houkin, President, Hokkaido University, Japan
  10. Ping-kong Alexander Wai, President and Vice-Chancellor, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
  11. Tony F Chan, President, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
  12. Jin Taek CHUNG, President, Korea University, Korea
  13. Nagahiro Minato, President, Kyoto University, Japan
  14. Tatsuro Ishibashi, President, Kyushu University, Japan
  15. Leonard CHENG Kwok-Hon, President, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China
  16. Banchong Mahaisavariya, President, Mahidol University, Thailand
  17. Barnabas Nawangwe, Vice-Chancellor, Makerere University, Uganda
  18. Mikhail Pogosyan, Rector, Moscow Aviation Institute, Russia
  19. Seiichi Matsuo, President, Nagoya University, Japan
  20. Subra Suresh, President, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  21. Tan Eng Chye, President, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  22. Morton O. Schapiro, President, Northwestern University, USA
  23. HAO Ping, President, Peking University, China
  24. Andrei Rudskoi, Rector, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia
  25. Ferruccio Resta, Rector, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  26. Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  27. Ariel Porat, President, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  28. Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  29. Asher Cohen, President, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  30. Jin-Guang Teng, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
  31. Wei Shyy, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
  32. Santa J. Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor, The University of British Columbia, Canada
  33. Dejan Jaksic, Rector, The University of Novi Sad, Serbia
  34. Stephen Garton, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The University of Sydney, Australia
  35. Amit Chakma, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia, Australia
  36. Hideo Ohno, President, Tohoku University, Japan
  37. Alejandro Gaviria Uribe, Rector, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
  38. António Manuel da Cruz Serra, Rector, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
  39. Marcelo Knobel, Rector, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil
  40. Joan Guàrdia Olmos, Rector, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  41. Datin Dr Anita B Z Abdul Aziz, Vice Chancellor, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
  42. Andrew J Deeks, President, University College Dublin, Ireland
  43. Michael Spence, President and Provost, University College London, UK
  44. Bill Flanagan, President and Vice Chancellor, University of Alberta, Canada
  45. Margareth Hagen, Rector, University of Bergen, Norway
  46. Hugh Brady, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Bristol, UK
  47. Gary May, Chancellor, University of California, Davis, USA
  48. Gene Block, Chancellor, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  49. Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  50. Robert J. Jones, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  51. Toyin Ogundipe, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Nigeria
  52. Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds, UK
  53. Yonghua Song, Rector, University of Macau, Macau, China
  54. Svein Stølen, Rector, University of Oslo, Norway
  55. Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa, Canada
  56. Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto, Canada
  57. Heinz W. Engl, Rector, University of Vienna, Austria
  58. Ana Mari Cauce, President, University of Washington, USA
  59. Aiji Tanaka, President, Waseda University, Japan
  60. Peter Salovey, President, Yale University, USA
  61. WU Zhaohui, President, Zhejiang University, China
The call remains open! If your university wishes to join in the statement, please contact Mr. TONG Jun, partnership manager, at