Tsinghua releases its first report on SDGs

Tsinghua University launched its first report on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the fourth forum of the anniversary special “On the University”series on April 15.

Tsinghua University Report on SDGs

The report prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals of Tsinghua University (TUSDG), highlights the University’s efforts and endeavors to implement the 17 UN SDGs over the years and shows the commitment for joining hands with other universities to promote the SDGs in the future.

Adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, the 17 SDGs aim to lead countries in their efforts to eradicate all forms of poverty, achieve equality and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The SDGs set the direction for global development and international collaboration and outlines a blueprint for a prosperous and sustainable world by 2030.

Professor Xue Lan, Dean of Schwarzman College and Co-Director of the TUSDG, and Professor Zhu Xufeng, Associate Dean of the School of Public Policy and Executive Director of the TUSDG, jointly released the SDG report at the forum, which was held on the theme of “Towards Sustainable Development Goals.”

The opening remarks at the forum were delivered by United Nations Resident Coordinator in China Siddharth Chatterjee and Colombia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who is the President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Chatterjee commended Tsinghua University for its commitment and efforts to implement the SDGs, and wished Tsinghua great success and scholarship.

“The talent pool we have in this university is simply remarkable,” he said, recalling his recent visit to Tsinghua.  

He emphasized the central role of universities like Tsinghua in addressing global challenges and realizing the SDGs.

Chatterjee also praised China for making significant gains in realizing the SDGs.

“As we march and race towards the Sustainable Development Goals, all 17 goals, we must keep in mind, it is our human spirit, our human compassion, our human endurance, our human knowledge and our spirit of multilateralism which will lead to the implementation of the SDGs….The World Bank is already projecting that by the end of 2021 about 150 million people will fall back into poverty (due to the pandemic). Yet here is a country(China) where I am standing in, is not only REACHING the SDG 1 (of no poverty) but has actually REACHED it and is now moving towards rural revitalization to make sure no one is left behind,” he said.  

He emphasized that as the world moves towards 2030, China’s role in the field of multilateralism would be crucial in achieving the SDGs globally. 

Professor Sachs congratulated the TUSDG for launching the important SDG report and praised Tsinghua University for playing an enormous role in helping China and the world to achieve sustainable development.  

He said that Tsinghua’s role was growing and was of historic significance as the world battled COVID-19 and faced other global challenges like climate change and the need to make society prosperous and fair for all people.  

He said the world needed the spirit of Tsinghua’s anniversary theme “Strive for Excellence, Innovate for the Future” to achieve the SDGs globally, as he extended his best wishes to Tsinghua on its 110th anniversary.

Following their remarks, Professor Xue Lan shed light on the significance of the SDG report.

He said that the report offered a full review of Tsinghua’s practices to implement the SDGs in the past and shows the commitment for joining hands with other universities to promote the SDGs in the future.

“We wish to work with other universities in the world to proactively be involved in the implementation of the SDGs,” he said. “We hope that this report can be a call for universities in China and the world to solidly practice the sustainable development concept.”  

Professor Zhu Xufeng talked about how Tsinghua has been implementing the SDGs through talent training, scientific research, social contribution, cultural inheritance and innovation.

He said Tsinghua had launched the SDGs related courses, research projects and social-training programs, offered scholarships to students with financial difficulty, initiated environment-friendly concepts like its green campus, and deepened international exchanges, among other things for sustainable development.

He also invited–Professor He Kebin from the School of Environment of Tsinghua University and the Academician of the China Academy of Engineering; Dr. Margaret Chan, the Inaugural Dean of the Vanke School of Public Health and Emeritus Director-General of the WHO; together with Professor Feng Yuan, the Vice President of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the Vice President of the China Central Institute for Culture and History, the Honorary President of the China Artists Association and the first Director of the Tsinghua Art Museum–to share their own experiences related to the SDGs in each field.

He said Tsinghua was looking forward to working with the UN and all the universities around the world to create more open, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable universities and thus pave a brighter future for mankind.

Professor Zhu’s speech were followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by Wu Hongbo, China’s first Special Representative for European Affairs, Co-Director of TUSDG, and former Under-Secretary-General of the UN. Three speakers exchanged their views on the importance of realizing the SDGs.    

Professor He Kebin talked about the efforts made by Tsinghua research teams to tackle pollution and address climate change.

“To fully realize the blue-sky goal and the SDGs, Tsinghua will continue to make efforts,” he said. 

Dr. Margaret Chan stressed the need for international cooperation to improve public health and medical system for global sustainable development.

“As the Dean of the Vanke School, we would like to work with all my colleagues to achieve universal health coverage and the SDG3- Good Health and Well-being,” she said.

Feng Yuan highlighted the importance of creating a humanistic environment in universities to foster cultural inheritance and innovation and pave the way for a sustainable future.

The forum, chaired by Zhu Junming, Associate Professor of the School of Public Policy and Vice Director of the TUSDG was held both online and offline, and broadcast live by various media on their social media platforms.

Source: Tsinghua University

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