My speech on universities and the SDGs

I was in Sydney on Monday to address the Annual Presidents’ Meeting of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities – a grouping of major centres of learning and research from right around the Pacific Rim. I spoke on the relevance of the SDGs to the Asia Pacific, noting that income inequality has been rising and that the “grow now, clean up later” approach to development has left the region with major environmental challenges. That makes a focus on SDG 10 on significantly reducing inequities and on the three environment SDGs on climate change and on ocean and land based ecosystems especially important.

I suggested that universities could help drive progress on the SDGs through their dedication to education (SDG 4), through cross disciplinary research to support meeting the complex and interlinked goals, through support for evidence-based policy making and monitoring and evaluation of progress, and through advocacy. Universities have high status in society, and their voices are listened to. Sydney Harbout Bridge 25 June 2017Sydney sunrise 26 June 2017<a href="APRU 26 June 2017APRU 26 June 2017

My Lecture at Australian National University: the Crawford Oration, Sunday 18 June 2017, on the “Leadership We need – Sustainable Development Challenges”.


I was in Canberra in recent days for the Crawford Australian Leadership Forum held each year at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU). My theme was on the leadership required to meet the challenges of achieving sustainable development. I commented on the role of leadership at all levels from global to national and local; on the need for leadership on Official Development Assistance and on supporting financing for development more generally; and on the roles of civil society and the private sector. I also elaborated on some of the obstacles to be overcome in order to reach the ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Here’s the full text:

Speech at Research for Development Impact Conference in Sydney, 13 June 2017.

I was pleased to address the Research for Development Impact Conference held at Sydney University on 1 3 June. The theme of the conference was “Partnering For Impact on Sustainable Development”. I spoke to that theme, setting out the many different kinds of partnerships required across governments, civil society, and the private sector, and across the humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding silos. The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement require big, bold partnerships and unprecedented volumes of finance. International solidarity is needed for implementation.