United Nations University (UNU)

5–53–70 Jingumae, Tokyo
150-8925, Japan

United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization headquartered in Japan. The mission of the UNU is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States.

UNU Institute 
for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

The UNU-IAS is a leading research and teaching institute based in Tokyo, Japan. Its mission is to advance efforts towards a more sustainable future, through policy-oriented research and capacity development focused on sustainability and its social, economic and environmental dimensions. UNU-IAS serves the international community, making valuable and innovative contributions to high-level policymaking and debates within the UN system.

UNU-IAS is one of 13 institutes and programmes which together comprise the UNU.


For more information, please visit http://ias.unu.edu/en/ or contact rceservicecentre@unu.edu 

UNU-IAS Education 
for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme

The ESD Programme aims to contribute to the effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in bridging the gap between learning and development through (a) accelerating local and regional solutions to sustainability issues; (b) re-orienting higher education for societal transformation into SD; and (c) developing SD and ESD competences and capabilities as well as a science-policy interface. 
The global multi-stakeholder network of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) on ESD and the alliance of higher education institutions called Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network (ProSPER.Net) are two effective vehicles for facilitating policy-relevant research that contributes to international debates and policy processes for sustainability. 

Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on ESD

An RCE is a multi-stakeholder network of existing institutions and individuals, committed to using education and learning as tools for building a sustainable future. RCEs are ideally positioned to translate global sustainable development policy and vision into local realities and undertake actions that are sensitive to contexts from local to global levels. IAU is an active partner of RCEs.  

For more information: http://www.rce-network.org/

Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education 
and Research Network (ProSPER.Net) 

ProSPER.Net is a network of 34 higher education institutions as of July 2015 in the Asia-Pacific region as of December 2014, all of which are committed to working together to integrate sustainable development into postgraduate courses and curricula, through a series of activities involving research and capacity building.

For more information


News for this university

Transforming Education Together: 2023 ESD-NET Global Meeting in Tokyo

The ESD-NET Global Meeting in Tokyo, which commenced on December 18, 2023, marked a successful gathering at the United Nations University with the presence of representatives from more than 80 countries. This year’s meeting focused on sharing the implementation and progress of the ESD-2030 national initiatives, trends, challenges and innovations within the framework of Agenda 2030 and discussing the action points for the next two years 2024-2025.

Rio Declaration 1992 and Rio+20 2012 renewed commitments from HE

The UN Conferences on Sustainable Development, in particular in 1992 and 2012, marked milestones for change and provided a platform for exchange, for all stakeholders. Higher Education strongly advocated for its role early on and mobilised the HE community to recognise the need for action and take the next steps. IAU and partners have been supporting these efforts in various ways.

IAU Engagement at COP21 (2015)

The collective voice of the world’s universities and colleges was heard at COP21 when a global alliance of tertiary and higher education sustainability networks, including the IAU, representing more than 3000 universities and colleges worldwide, jointly issued an Open Letter urging Ministers and Governments to acknowledge and strengthen the research and education role that universities and colleges play in addressing climate change. IAU also represented its members by taking part in a COP21 panel debate on “Climate change as part of the curriculum from kindergarten to university”.

Post-Nagoya Summary

The UNESCO World Conference on Educations for Sustainable Development (WC-ESD) 2014 adopts The Aichi-Nagoya Declaration and the launches the Global Action Programme.

RCE Biodiversity Publication & Video

UNU-IAS and the RCE Network have launched a new publication on Engaging Communities for Biodiversity Conservation

RCE Sustainable Consumption and Production Publication

A new publication from the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), "Driving Sustainable Consumption and Production at the Local Level: Education for Sustainable Development Projects from the Global RCE Network", features 12 innovative sustainable consumption and production education projects developed by Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs).

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