York UNESCO Chair team attends 2023 UN High-Level Political Forum

hands holding a globe

York University UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability Chairholder Charles Hopkins and Coordinator Katrin Kohl will join the official Canadian delegation to the 2023 United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF).

Charles Hopkins
Charles Hopkins

The UN HLPF is the central platform within the United Nations system to track progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. More than 2,700 delegates are expected to attend the meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York from July 10-19. 38 countries and the European Union will present their Voluntary National Review (VNR) on national progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 12 special events, more than 200 side events and 21 exhibits will take place.

York contributed to Canada’s 2023 Voluntary National Review, which will outline the initiatives undertaken in Canada with a focus on quality education, gender equality, climate action and partnership. In their report, York highlighted the strategic commitments to elevate action for the SDGs through the University Academic Plan 2020-2025 and other frameworks, such as the Framework on Black Inclusion, the Indigenous Framework for York University and the new Decolonization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2022-2027.

A key enabler, so far the only one recognized by the UN, of all of the SDGs is an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as stated in SDG 4, which York´s UNESCO Chair has long been engaged with. The team has also worked with UNESCO and other UN agencies to promote the transformation of education and training systems and to raise public awareness for ESD. At the UN HLPF, Hopkins and Kohl will advocate for the importance of involving higher education institutions in policymaking, for modelling sustainability in the university as whole and the transformative power of quality education.