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27 September 2011

Dear UNAI Friends,


Its been a very busy few weeks for UNAI since our last issue. Last month, in Seoul, the 2011 United Nations Academic Impact Forum, New Partners for Change: the UN and the World Academic Community provided the opportunity to share the Korean experience in development and education. Also in Seoul, on 12 August, at the invitation of the Korean Council for University Education (KCUE), we had the first ever face-to-face meeting of the UNAI Hubs. Our new website was launched during the Hub meeting. We encourage you to visit the site frequently, as it is regularly updated, and invite you to contribute news about your UNAI activities and events.

It is clear to me that academic institutions around the word place significant importance on supporting the United Nations. The question now is: how do we translate these deepening ties into life-saving and lifeimproving progress for the worlds people?

http://outreach.un.org/unai

You believe in intellectual social responsibility let us call it ISR And you are seeking to work more closely with the United Nations because you agree that developing a culture of ISR can make our world wiser, safer and more just.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Seoul, 10 August 2011.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Peace, and, to celebrate the occasion, UNAI partnered with Kyung Hee University, whose President introduced the idea of an international day at a triennial meeting of the International Association of University Presidents in 1981. The coming season promises to be just as active. Here are some highlights. For the next three months, starting in October, we will be focusing on socially responsible design, with Design with the Other 90%: Cities, an exhibition and educational programme presented by Cooper-Hewitt, the National Design Museum, a UNAI member. A video contest is being launched by the Facultad de Ciencias Econmicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires. Pre-registration starts on 17 October. And on 18 November, we will be celebrating our first anniversary with a concert organized by the Puglia Center of America, at SUNY Purchase College!
Ramu Damodaran Nathalie Leroy, Vivian Bernstein, Lilli Schindler, Vikas Sharma

http://outreach.un.org/unai

http://www.facebook.com/ImpactUN

New Partners for Change: the UN and the World Academic Community, 10-12 August 2011

Organized by the Korean Council for University Education (KCUE), under the auspices of the Korean Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), and of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), the 2011 United Nations Academic Impact Forum was opened by KCUE Chair, President Young-Gil Kim of Handong Global University - the UNAI Hub for Capacity-building in higher education systems - who introduced Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Prime Minister Kim and UNESCO Deputy-Director-General Engida made congratulatory remarks, while IAUP President, Michael Adams, President of Fairleigh Dickinson University delivered the keynote address: Breaking New Snow. Over 350 speakers and participants included representatives from KCUE member universities, from UNAI Hubs, members, and partners, international and regional organizations, and government agencies. Presentations and panel discussions focused on the Korean experience of rapid economic development and the role that education plays in the progress of a country. The Forum provided an opportunity for UNAI members and their countries to learn from this experience in the move towards sustainable development.

More on the new UNAI website: Reports on the UNAI Seoul Forum.

http://outreach.un.org/unai

http://www.facebook.com/ImpactUN

First face-to-face UNAI Hub meeting


Immediately following the Seoul Forum, at the invitation of the Korean Council for University Education, the first ever face-to-face meeting of the UNAI Hubs was held on Friday, 12 August. Eight of the hubs were able to participate. Presided by Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka, the meeting provided the opportunity to assess progress achieved so far by our global partnership and to discuss next steps. Each hub presented their activities to date as well as future projects. Some of these have already been reported on in previous issues of the Newsletter, including the e-discussion series; the Education and Governance for Sustainable Development conference and the sustainability portal developed by the Black Sea University Network; the LUMS distance-learning project and the tutorials on human rights; Poor Poverty, the virtual panel discussion with the University of KwaZulu-Natal; Handong Global University GET programme; and Benedict Colleges conference in Colombia. Hadassah College presented its inclusive work for young students with a history of failure to allow them to succeed in higher education; J.F. Oberlin University announced a textbook series about the UN; and Escuela Politcnica Javeriana del Ecuador introduced its Viajes Acadmicos/Academic Travels. The UNAI new website was officially launched during the meeting. The website was welcomed by all present as a new platform that will facilitate and promote a greater exchange of experiences and ideas among members. Participants committed to sharing information through the new platform, as well as through the hub portals when those are being launched. The meeting resulted in increased cooperation among the hubs, and the initiation of some joint projects, which will be presented on the website when they are announced.

Student representatives from the hubs attended the closing segment of the hub meeting and committed to support UNAI through their respective ASPIRE (Action by Students to Promote Innovation and Reform through Education) groups.

http://outreach.un.org/unai

http://www.facebook.com/ImpactUN

Give Peace Another Chance


Thirty years ago, Dr. Young Seek Choue, the President of Kyung Hee University, in Seoul, introduced the idea of an international day of peace at a triennial meeting of the International Association of University Presidents in Costa Rica. At the 36th session of the UN General Assembly, in 1981, the delegation of Costa Rica introduced a resolution on an International Day and International Year of Peace. The General Assembly adopted the resolution and the International Day of Peace has been celebrated every year since then. To mark the 30th anniversary, UNAI partnered with Kyung Hee University (KHU) to organize a virtual symposium: Give Peace Another Chance. The symposium was held simultaneously through live streaming video in two locations: at 7:30pm on Wednesday, 14 September at UN Headquarters, which was 8:30am on Thursday, 15 September at the Grand Peace Hall, KHU, in Seoul. The Symposium started with musical performances by Nashville singer Beth Nielsen Chapman and the New York musical group Khaleidhaphonic, and was opened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He was followed by KHU President Inwon Choue who, in his address, stated: Universities these days face a new challenge. They must go beyond the ivory tower to narrow the gap between destitution and affluence, alienation and tolerance, and suffering and compassion. They must also open a new intellectual space for reflective humans while leading the way to deep scholarly pursuit and dialogue with an open universe. A round table focused on Higher Education and Human Dignity. Panellists included Ambassador Eduardo Ulibarri, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations; Ambassador Aftab Seth, educationist, diplomat and writer; Dr. Kim Yer-su, Professor Emeritus, KHU; Under-Secretary-General Francis Deng, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide; Norhan Basuni, CUNY Baccalaureate Graduate and a witness to the Tahrir Square events; and Ms. Nielsen Chapman. Following a live Q&A session moderated from Seoul, a musical performance in Seoul concluded the event in both locations with a Dvorak Piano Quartet and Magnolia Blossom. Some 500 participants attended the New York event, with large student delegations representing 13 UNAI members from the New York area. KHU had extended an invitation to other Korean UNAI members to participate in the event and students from 19 universities were in attendance, bringing the Seoul attendance to 3,500 participants.

http://outreach.un.org/unai

http://www.facebook.com/ImpactUN

UNAI Participates in the Social Good Summit


Three of the presentations given during the Social Good Summit, the social media event organized by Mashable and the UN Foundation, were addressed in ediscussions on the UNAI Facebook page last week. Students from the East Stroudsburg South High School ASPIRE Group debated the question: "how do you think public media shape images of women and girls?", the discussion was moderated by UNAI intern Michele Vella, from Lehigh University. Professor Julian May, from the UNAI Hub on Poverty, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, moderated the e-discussion on Skype in the Classroom. As a follow-up to the UNAI Virtual Panel Poor Poverty in June, two of the book contributors (from UNAI member institutions The New School and the University of Bath) addressed Professor Mays Poverty & Inequality course for the School of Development Studies Master's degree. CUNY Baccalaureate Academic Advisor, Rafal Szczurowski moderated the ediscussion on the Arab Spring. The discussion revolved around youth engagement in political and social activities after revolutionary events. Participants were asked to share their thoughts on building or rebuilding civil society, social structures, and communities.

Students and the moderators also viewed each presentation and participated live via Twitter. The e-discussions reports are posted on the new UNAI website.

Secretary-General Report on Preventive Diplomacy


This year, the UN peacekeeping budget will total $8 billion. Consider the savings if we act before conflicts erupt - by deploying political mediation missions, for example, rather than troops Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thus underlined the importance of preventive diplomacy in his opening remarks to the 66th session of the General Assembly. His first report on the issue has just been released, and is available on the UN Department of Political Affairs web page: http://bit.ly/qrkGLz Some hard copies are also available, contact us if you would like one: academicimpact@un.org

Upcoming events:
On 4 October, at 1:15pm, UNAI is organizing an event at the UN Bookshop in connection with the release of Tutu Authorized, the biography of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Speakers include Cherie Blair and Producer Steve York.

http://outreach.un.org/unai

http://www.facebook.com/ImpactUN

Organized by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Design with the Other 90%: Cities exhibition will run from 15 October 2011 to 9 January 2012 at UN Headquarters. The exhibition, which is open to the public, explores the multidisciplinary, overlapping relationships among urban planning and design, education, social entrepreneurship, climate change, sanitation and water, migration, public health and affordable housing in these communities. To accompany the exhibition, an online open-network database will enable designers, communities and other stakeholders to work together to develop design solutions to these challenges. The dialogue will also continue through educational programmes. For more information: http://www.cooperhewitt.org/exhibitions/critical-mass The Facultad de Ciencias Econmicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires, is organizing a video contest on the theme of sustainability and education. The goal is to develop a UNAI video library offering quality content developed with a multicultural approach, and which is to be made available to higher education institutions worldwide. A pre-selection jury will select the 20 videos that will be screened during a video festival scheduled for March 2013 in Buenos Aires. The Festival Jury will determine the three winners, who will receive a prize. The contest preregistration starts on 17 October 2011. For more information: www.econ.uba.ar/unai/festival

On 19 October, from 6 to 9pm, CUNY Baccalaureate is organizing a Symposium on the Arab Spring. For details, and registration, go to
http://cunyba.gc.cuny.edu/blog/cuny-ba-symposium-on-the-arab-spring/

On 4 and 5 November, the Antonio Meneghetti Faculty, is organizing the congress Responsibility and Reciprocity Social Values for a Sustainable Economy (www.reciprocidade.org.br). The Congress will be held on the campus of the Antonio Meneghetti Faculty (www.faculdadeam.edu.br) in the city of Restinga Seca, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. On 18 November, to celebrate the first anniversary of the UNAI launch, the Puglia Center of America is presenting the United Academia concert at Purchase College. For information and reservations, please call (914) 251-6202 or visit the website: www.artscenter.org

Check the UNAI website for additional events, and dont forget to send us information regarding your events!

http://outreach.un.org/unai

http://www.facebook.com/ImpactUN