Monday 8 Jan 2018
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has been mobilizing expertise from different regions and backgrounds to implement various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to eradicate poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. It is now extending its reach into Hong Kong. The new network, SDSN Hong Kong, co-hosted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (the Trust), was officially launched this afternoon (8 January) at CUHK.
Officiating at today’s launch ceremony were The Hon Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), United Nations, Mr Anthony W K Chow, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, and Professor Rocky S Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK.
CUHK and the Trust have established a long-term and productive partnership on a wide range of social and sustainable development issues. In December 2013, the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, the first museum of its kind in the world, was established at CUHK, offering a platform for the public to champion the cause of sustainable development. The commitment of CUHK and the Trust to mobilizing expertise and resources to address the Sustainable Development Goals in Hong Kong has contributed to the eventual establishment of the Hong Kong Chapter of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which was officially recognized by the Executive Committee of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) as a national network in October 2017.
Professor Tuan in his welcome address said that sustainable development was a pressing issue of our time. ‘The roles of universities in sustainable development are undisputed. We are the centres of knowledge generation and serve as knowledge repositories. Not only do we create and incubate new technologies, through research and development, most importantly we also educate and inspire future generations of leaders in sustainable development,’ he added.
“As an organisation committed to the betterment of our society, the Jockey Club welcomes the Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, with initiatives across a wide range of sectors, the Club is already addressing a number of the goals. We look forward to supporting more such projects, and to encouraging our many community partners to embrace the goals,” said Mr Anthony W K Chow, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club. “It is also the Club’s experience that the best way to tackle community issues is through partnerships. We are therefore delighted to see the Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Hong Kong take forward this collaborative approach, creating a forum where expertise can be shared, partnerships forged and cross-sector collaboration facilitated. ”
The Chief Executive said, “I am very pleased with the alliance between the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust in launching the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Hong Kong. It will connect our academics, scientists and stakeholders with a global network for the exchange of scientific and technological knowledge, for joint research and for the development of innovative ideas and practical solutions for sustainable development. Such connection is set to benefit Hong Kong, other members of the Network, and the sustainable development of the world. I wish the Network and the newly launched Hong Kong chapter every success in their future endeavours.”
The event climaxed in the keynote speech by Professor Sachs. He remarked, "Hong Kong is a global leader in finance, commerce, logistics, and tourism, and therefore a key global leader in facing the 21st century challenges of sustainable development. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) is grateful to our partners, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, for taking the lead in launching SDSN Hong Kong. This new chapter of SDSN will make a major contribution to Hong Kong’s own sustainable development, and will bring Hong Kong’s expertise and remarkable dynamism to global problem-solving as well."
Professor Sachs is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, and a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author and syndicated columnist. Professor Sachs started out as a mainstream development economist but has since branched out into different fields including political economy, environmental economics and sustainability. He has twice been named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. A recent survey by The Economist ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.
The launch ceremony was concluded by a panel discussion where Mr Leong Cheung, Executive Director, Charities and Community of The Hong Kong Jockey Club and Professor Gabriel Lau, Director of the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability and AXA Professor of Geography and Resource Management of CUHK joined Professor Sachs to share their views on advancing UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Hong Kong.
Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Hong Kong
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector to support practical problem solving for sustainable development at local, national, and global scales. The SDSN has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. The SDSN is building national and regional networks of knowledge institutions, solution-focused thematic networks, and the SDG Academy, an online university for sustainable development.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust join hands to co-host the Hong Kong chapter of the SDSN. Under the umbrella of the global SDSN, SDSN Hong Kong seeks to mobilize expertise, information and resources from academic, philanthropy, government, business and nonprofits to address the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues in Hong Kong and advance sustainable development. SDSN Hong Kong looks forward to identifying further means of collaboration on research and pursuing sustainability solutions with local and international researchers and leaders in sustainable development.
More details of the regional and national networks of SDSN can be found at: http://unsdsn.org/what-we-do/national-and-regional-networks/
(Source: Communications and Public Relations Office, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)