The United Nations University (UNU) is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization headquartered in Japan. The mission of the United Nations University is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples, and Member States.

In carrying out this mission, the UN University works with leading universities and research institutes in UN Member States; functioning as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system. Through postgraduate teaching activities, UNU contributes to capacity building, particularly in developing countries. (www.unu.edu)

The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) is one of the fifteen (15) Research and Training Centers / Programmes (RTC/Ps) of the United Nations University (UNU). The aim of the Institute is to bridge the gap between science and natural resources management policies in Africa. UNU-INRA’s mandate is to contribute to the sustainable development of Africa’s natural resources in a way that maintains the quality of the natural environment and transforms lives.

The Institute’s programme areas focus on the development, management and governance of Africa’s renewable and non-renewable natural resources as well as green economy promotion. UNU-INRA’s goal is to be a catalyst for knowledge creation and delivery for efficient use of Africa’s natural resources in order to improve livelihoods.
Specifically, UNU-INRA’s objectives include the following:

  • Assist African countries and other non-African developing countries to better appreciate and mobilize their natural resources to benefit their people;
  • Promote the development of natural resources through knowledge generation, application of scientific knowledge and the development of innovative approaches for productive work;
  • Increase the understanding of the socio-economic and other dimensions of natural resources in the context of self-reliant development;
  • Contribute to the strengthening of national and other institutions by building research and consultancy capabilities in Africa and other developing countries with respect to their natural resource endowments;
  • Encourage inter-disciplinary research and advanced training in the area of natural resources management;
  • Make scientific knowledge available to policy and decision makers.

The Institute operates from its main office in Accra, Ghana and carries out some of its programme activities through a network of Operational Units (OUs) and a College of Research Associates (CRA’s). The OUs consist of multi-disciplinary groups of researchers located at selected institutions in five African countries: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Senegal, and Zambia. Each of these focuses on specific areas of natural resources management.
The Institute also runs a competitive Visiting Scholars Programme (VSP) that provides opportunities for researchers from the continent to undertake high-quality research. UNU-INRA also collaborates with other UN agencies, multilateral and bilateral institutions to deal with natural resources. The vision of UNU-INRA is to be the leading institution in Africa in capacity building for research in natural resources management with a Mission to empower African universities and research institutions through capacity strengthening. Much information on UNU-INRA could be obtained from www.inra.unu.edu.

The Special Summit on SDGs has been created due to the collaboration between the UNU and the GIMUN Team. The Summit is part of the GIMUN 2018 Conference Program and being facilitated by the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa. Due to the interest of UN University to offer opportunity to young people to build their capacities relating to issues affecting humanity; and the interest of GIMUN Team to give a platform for young people’s  voices be heard on global issues, both parties have partnered to create a forum on SDGs . His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana is a Co-Chair of the United Nations SDGs Advocacy Group and it is important we all ensure that the agenda our President is championing globally gains greater local impact here. Young people who are priority to the UN developmental agenda must understand what the whole concept of SDGs is and must be given the opportunity to share their opinions on how it can be achieved and most importantly, allowed to take actions towards it.

The interest of UNU-INRA on the creation of the Summit is due to two of its four approaches; Capacity Development and Knowledge Sharing and Transfer.

UNU-INRA enhances the potential of key stakeholders from universities, research institutions and individuals across Africa through training programmes, so as to strategically position them to be able to address questions affecting natural resources management on the continent. This is achieved by developing and organizing flagship training programmes on relevant natural resources management challenges including training on Environmental issues, Extractive Industries, Urban Sustainability as well as Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing training for professionals in natural resources management in Africa.

They develop and produce evidence-based materials such as books, working papers, policy briefs, chapters in books, proceedings and conference presentations, journal articles and media releases to share research findings with our key stakeholders in Academia, Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other Policy and Advocacy Groups. UNU-INRA also organizes public events such as conferences, seminars, workshops and lectures that provide a platform for our stakeholders to share ideas and also offer networking opportunities.

For GIMUN, the creation of platforms to enable young people to express their voices whiles they learn basic leadership skill has remained paramount since its inception. Many issues have been discussed at GIMUN Conferences. GIMUN’s broader agenda is to create the path for young people to lead the world’s development agenda.

One of such platforms is the Special Summit on SDGs being created in collaboration with United Nations University.

Delegates of GIMUN 2018 assigned as Members of the Summit will meet at the UNU-INRA conference room in Accra and make a presentation on “Working to Achieve the Global Goals”.

Members of the Summit are expected to present ideas and projects they believe can help in the achievements of the SDGs. After their presentation, an eminent panel will select three best papers and award them. The Summit will discuss the topic in-depth and prepare resolutions. It is expected that resolutions of the Summit be submitted to the United Nations University. Selected Students in Senior High Schools across Ghana. Members of the eminent panel may include the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the Country Director of UNDP, the Swiss Ambassador, Consular for Political Affairs of the United States Embassy, Accra and President of Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools.



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