With the support from the Federal Government of Germany, the UNSSC, on 1 January 2016, opened the “Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development” in Bonn to equip the UN and its partners with a vehicle to deliver on the learning agenda pertaining to Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Its mission is to respond to the comprehensive learning, training, and knowledge management needs of the UN staff and partners in the context of the 2030 Agenda as well as the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development supports the policy and operational work of the UN through the development of learning tools, platforms for interaction and a mature set of learning offerings for UN Staff. It also serves as a catalyst and convener prompting dialogue and knowledge sharing on issues relevant to the vision and mission of the United Nations between UN staff and a diverse set of stakeholders from academia, the private sector and civil society.
Outlook for 2018
Building on our experiences in 2016 and 2017, programmes for 2018 at the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development are now in full swing. In the coming year, our partners and beneficiaries in the UN and beyond can look forward to an enhanced range of offerings to meet the learning needs demanded by the 2030 Agenda, and drive collective results for development.
We will continue to strengthen and communicate the sustainable development narrative. In particular, we will build on our arsenal of knowledge resources and multi-stakeholder platforms to engage audiences across different regions, languages, and age groups in the global discourse around sustainable development. New resources in the pipeline for 2018 include free micro-learning modules, including online modules jointly launched with Data-Pop Alliance on the Big Data & Sustainable Development Open Learning Hub.
The UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development will also focus on empowering stakeholders, and facilitating integrated and transformative action for sustainable development by equipping UN staff and stakeholders from governments, civil society, academia, and the private sector with the necessary capacities and skills to implement the 2030 Agenda through our learning and training offerings.
For the UN, as outlined in the UN Secretary-General’s recommendations for Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda in December 2017, the 2030 Agenda implies the need for accelerating system-wide alignment to the 2030 Agenda. This means strengthening core competencies and the ‘right system-wide capacities’ to support the vision of a new generation of UN Country Teams (UNCTs) and empowered Resident Coordinators (RCs).
In recognising the need for joint action and ‘whole-of-system’ expertise, the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development brings together representatives from across the spectrum of UN entities in all our learning and training spaces. We have also refined and revamped our learning and training offerings to meet learning needs for competencies such as leadership and communication skills. UN Country Teams (UNCTs) will be able to hone these skills through our UN Country Teams (UNCT) Leadership Skills Course in May and our Communicating as One course in March. Other highlighted offerings for 2018 include our UN Country Programming course, which strengthens understanding of country priorities and enables UNCTs to provide contextual support; as well as new courses on Policy Coherence and Policy Simulation, Results-Focused Programming, and skills to engage and partner with the private sector.
Achieving the Agenda also requires more systematic multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships. The Knowledge Centre will therefore continue to offer courses for representatives from government, the private sector, civil society, and academia, in addition to UN staff. In particular, we will focus on scaling up trainings to boost competencies in leveraging South-South cooperation for sustainable development. Seven new tailored trainings in South-South cooperation for government agencies have been planned in partnership with the UNOSSC. In addition, we will also roll out new online courses zooming in on thematic sustainable development goals (SDGs) including climate change and disaster risk reduction (SDG 13, 14, 15), social protection (SDG 1.3), and anti-corruption (SDG 16). Finally, building on the momentum generated for the SDGs within the private sector, we will also prioritise our engagement with businesses—especially small- and medium-sized enterprises—in the coming year.
Overall, in 2018, we will dedicate much of our effort to supporting the UN Secretary-General’s initiative to reposition the UN development system while fostering knowledge sharing and developing capacities of all stakeholders to bring the 2030 Agenda to life. At the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, we remain committed to meeting your learning needs, as demanded by the 2030 Agenda. We also stand ready to work closely with you to design and deliver tailor-made learning programmes as well as customised learning resources to address agency-specific realities within the wider context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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