The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) is an open partnership between several United Nations entities and the higher education community launched in the lead-up to the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. It is currently chaired by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the Sulitest Association – a non-profit organization and online platform aimed at improving sustainability literacy for all. Other UN partners include UNESCO, UN Environment Programme, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative, UN University, UN-HABITAT, UNCTAD, UNITAR, UN Office for Partnerships and UN Academic Impact.
Each year, HESI organizes a global forum as a special event to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) – UN’s main platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level – to highlight the critical role of higher education in achieving sustainable development.
This year’s HLPF is focused on “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”. The HLPF will provide an in-depth review of SDGs 6 on clean water and sanitation, 7 on affordable and clean energy, 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, 11 on sustainable cities and communities and 17 on partnerships for the Goals. The HESI Global Forum will examine the role of higher education in achieving these goals.