RMIT University and the University of São Paulo have partnered to establish the first regional office of the United Nations Global Compact – Cities Programme, in São Paulo, Brazil.
Already strong, the engagement of Brazilian cities in the United Nations Global Compact is set to skyrocket.
The new regional office of the Cities Programme will be managed by the University of São Paulo under the guidance of the United Nations Global Compact – Cities Programme international secretariat team, hosted at RMIT in Melbourne.
A range of targeted services will be offered to Brazilian municipalities and states, including the facilitation of local government, civil society and private sector task forces for sustainable urban development projects.
RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Professor Calum Drummond said he welcomed the potential trans-disciplinary research and bi-lateral collaboration that will come from this partnership and the new regional office.
“RMIT embraces international partnerships and opportunities to collaborate on research that has real world impact,” Drummond said.
“We welcome the partnership with the University of São Paulo and see a wealth of opportunities to collaborate on research that makes a difference to communities and cities – in Brazil and Latin America – but also around the world”
Signing the Memorandum of Understanding at the UN Global Compact Headquarters in New York City, Chair of the Cities Programme, Michael Nolan said the partnership is a step in the right direction to better connect and collaborate with cities in South America to jointly develop urban solutions more effectively.
“We believe the new regional office will be a great foundation to scale up partnerships and projects to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda,” he said.
“In 2018 we will be working with the University of São Paulo to roll out our City Partnerships offer across Brazil – the first country following its current pilot in Australia”.
Rector and President of the University of São Paulo Professor Dr Marco Antonio Zago said he was pleased with this new partnership and the opportunities it will bring to Brazil and Latin America.
“We want to help the municipalities in our country – and across the continent – not just survive, but thrive,” he said.
“Our academics want to contribute their expertise to urban projects and work in partnership with citizens, municipal governments, the private sector and civil society.
“Brazil needs this platform for partnerships to affect real change”.
The new office will be led by University of São Paulo Head of Environmental Affairs, Professor Patricia Iglecias and Rosane de Souza, who has represented the Cities Programme in Brazil for the past four years from the Paraná state government. Cities Programme Deputy Director, Elizabeth Ryan will lead support from Australia.