With the support from the Federal Government of Germany the United Nations System Staff College opened the “Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development” on 1 January 2016 in Bonn. The Centre was established to equip the UN and its partners with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Knowledge Centre 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 and counterparts. 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 governments, academia, the private sector, and civil society.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development profoundly challenges the way all development partners think, work, and act. It requires enhanced multi-sectoral as well as cross-institutional integration and holistic thinking. Moving beyond separate mandates and structures, exploring linkages and interdependencies between different pillars and thematic issues is imperative. It is in this context that:
We strengthen and communicate the sustainable development narrative. In particular, we 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. We also offer free online courses, including climate change, circular economy, policy coherence for sustainable development, unleashing the role of the private sector for the 2030 Agenda, social protection, and anti-corruption. In addition, we provide free-of-charge online resources on sustainable development and collaborate with more than 50 organizations on the UN SDG:Learn platform to promote sustainable development learning.
We focus on empowering stakeholders and facilitate integrated and transformative action for sustainable development.
To strengthen policy integration and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we offer learning opportunities for diverse audiences on topics such as financing the SDGs and applying design thinking in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We also hold the annual UN Summer Academy that brings together participants from different regions in knowledge exchange to advance sustainable development approaches in a multi-stakeholder learning environment.
And above all, we support the repositioning of the UN Development System As outlined in the UN Secretary-General’s recommendations for Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda, the 2030 Agenda implies the need for accelerating system-wide alignment, calling for stronger skills on partnership-building and better coordination between the development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding pillars. This requires strengthening core competencies and the ‘right system-wide capacities’ that develop a new generation of UN Country Teams (UNCTs) and further empower Resident Coordinators (RCs).
The UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development is providing support by promoting a culture of change through learning support to Resident Coordinators and UNCTs. In recognizing the need for joint action and ‘whole-of-system’ expertise, we continue to offer the UN Country Teams (UNCT) Leadership Skills course. The programme enables the provision of inputs by senior experts from the UN system and academia, offering experiential learning opportunities about leadership and sustainable development, as well as professional media training. The Knowledge Centre has also piloted an important individual oriented leadership offering through UN Mastermind Groups.
To coherently strengthen processes at the country level, we also offer the UN Country Programming course. This course builds competencies in preparing and developing a UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, the most important UN instrument for planning and implementation of UN development activities at country level in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Results-Based Management and building partnerships for sustainable development are other examples of courses that help accelerate progress in the 2030 Agenda implementation.
We also believe in taking a long-term view by developing future adaptive and collaborative UN leaders by creating a conduit of young UN leaders through the Master of International Development programme developed with the IE School of Global and Public Affairs in Madrid.
Given the imperative of the 2030 Agenda to strengthen whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches, we increasingly support Resident Coordinator Offices, line ministries, and schools for public administration through sustainable development learning.
At the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, we have set ourselves the ambitious goal of reaching a broader and more diverse range of actors within and outside of the UN system.
Our learning programmes facilitate behavioral change and support transformative action for sustainable development at national, regional, and global level – thereby catalyzing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda
We stand ready to work closely with all stakeholders to help design and deliver tailor-made learning programmes as well as customized learning resources within the broader context of the 2030 Agenda.
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