Press Release

United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network Launches Asia Headquarters at Sunway City Kuala Lumpur

  • The UN-SDSN Asia Headquarters at Sunway City Kuala Lumpur is the third such global centre in the world after New York City and Paris
  • These UN-SDSN Headquarters coordinate continent-wide sustainability initiative to achieve the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network Launches Asia Headquarters at Sunway City Kuala Lumpur
Sunway City Kuala Lumpur,15 December 2022

The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN) officially launched the first Asia Headquarters here, ranking Sunway City Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia alongside Paris and New York City.

Founded in 2012 under the auspices of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN-SDSN was launched with the aim to provide global scientific and technological expertise in promoting practical solutions for sustainable development, which includes the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was adopted by the UN in 2015. The global community also came together on the Paris Agreement in the same year.

This newest UN-SDSN office, will aid, coordinate and accelerate sustainability initiatives throughout the Asian continent and will work closely with its counterparts in Paris, which oversees Africa and Europe, and in New York City, which oversees the Americas. The UN-SDSN Asia Headquarters and the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, both housed at Sunway University, were established through a gift totalling USD 20 million to the UN-SDSN by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation.

At the officiating ceremony, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the UN shared in his congratulatory remarks that: “With the introduction of the SDGs in 2015, governments, businesses, academia and civil society together with the United Nations and other partners have mobilised efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030. The SDGs are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. The opening of the new Asia Headquarters is a fitting milestone to mark UN-SDSN’s 10-year anniversary and I see hope, innovation, and action that makes me believe it is possible to build a better future for us all.”

YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah AO, Chair of UN-SDSN, Malaysia chapter, as well as Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group, in his opening remarks said: “Implementing the sustainability agenda is no longer just an option, but an urgent and moral imperative. We are doing our part in this region. Our decision to support UN-SDSN in its important work is based on the two key words in its very name, which are ‘Solutions’ and ‘Network.’ Through our deep and wide networks among the UN-SDSN National Chapters around the globe, we are addressing real world problems in real time. It is my hope that the solutions we come up can inspire many others around the world in tackling issues related to the sustainability agenda.”

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, President of the UN-SDSN and the Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Honorary Professor at Sunway University states “As the Asia region accounts for 60 percent of the global population, UN-SDSN Asia is inevitably the centre of the global sustainability challenge, and it will be the centre of the global solutions for sustainable development. There is no doubt that the future of the world and the fate of the world is going to be determined strongly in Asia and shape the world in the decades ahead.”

The launch was officiated by Prof. Dr. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations & Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Prof. Dr. Armida highlighted that the launch of the Asia Headquarters shows UN-SDSN’s commitment towards advancing the global sustainable development agenda.

“UN-SDSN recognises their cardinal role and contributions in the whole-of-society approach for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of SDGs. The establishment of the Asia Headquarters shows the commitment of UN-SDSN to foster stronger multilateral cooperation and partnerships, through which the Network shall continue to play an important role. We look forward to Asia-SDSN’s contribution to an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The launch ceremony was attended by representatives from the global UN-SDSN network, including dignitaries such as UN agency representatives, heads of missions, as well as government and business leaders.

During the UN-SDSN Asia Headquarters launch, CNBC’s award-winning anchor Christine Tan moderated a Fireside Chat between Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs. CNBC also hosted its flagship Managing Asia programme at Sunway City Kuala Lumpur to further conversations around the sustainability agenda.

The panel discussion on Managing Asia explored the topic of corporations weaving sustainability initiatives into their business practices in a post-pandemic landscape. Panellists in the discussion included Edmund Koh, President of UBS Asia Pacific, Noni Purnomo, President Commissioner of Blue Bird, Wern-Tuen Tan, Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and China, as well as Somruedee Chaimongkol, CEO of Banpu.

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