With the newly-formed Principal’s Advisory Council on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) at Queen’s in place, work has begun to identify priorities and recommend strategic actions in support of integrating UN SDG-focused work into all aspects of the Queen’s community.

The council includes faculty, staff, students, and local community members invited to serve a one-year term based on their backgrounds and work that engages with the UN SDGs. They will meet monthly and act as points of contact for colleagues wanting to know more about the UN SDGs at Queen’s and will bring forward interests, perspectives, and ideas from their faculty, school, or organization.  

“Queen’s has a key role to play in advancing the UN SDGs,” says Council Chair, Heather Aldersey, Special Advisor to the Principal on the UN SDGs. “Our main objective is to work together to develop and implement an operational framework and to share and coordinate SDG-related initiatives across the university. I look forward to making connections and finding opportunities.”

The council has started to review the existing environment at Queen’s and take stock of institutional progress on the SDG-related ideas and priorities that were generated during the 17 Rooms at Queen’s event held in June 2021, that assembled approximately 300 students, faculty, staff, and community members into groups to brainstorm how Queen’s can incite more activity around the UN SDGs. They will bring together UN SDG-related initiatives across the university and help to raise awareness by amplifying the work already being done. The council will also incentivize initiatives to foster further student, faculty, and staff engagement with the UN SDGs.

In 2023, Queen’s ranked third in the world and first in North America in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which assess how universities are advancing the UN SDGs within and beyond their local communities. The rankings measured more than 1,700 post-secondary institutions from over 110 countries and from 2021-2023, Queen’s has consistently ranked in the global top 10.

“The UN SDGs unite us in a common global purpose and dedication is required to realize them,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “By bringing together representatives from across the university to share ideas and expertise, we will generate more learning opportunities, partnerships, and inspire deeper engagement, while simultaneously elevating Queen’s as a model for social impact on the global stage.”

Originally published in the Queen's Gazette

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