UNESCO and Iceland establish center for sustainable use of natural resources and societal change

16/12/2019
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15 - Life on Land

Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson today signed an agreement establishing the International Center for Capacity Development, Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Societal Change, as a Category 2 Center under the auspices of UNESCO.

GRÓ - the Center for Capacity Development - focuses on areas where Iceland has valuable expertise, i.e. geothermal energy, gender equality, fisheries and land restoration. The center is the first multidisciplinary Category 2 Center in UNESCO’s network, bringing together these four areas of expertise and training.

The goal of the center is to enhance the capacities of developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean in the four fields, strengthening their abilities to attain international and national targets set with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals, and linking them to UNESCO´s mandate and its global priorities, Africa and Gender Equality.

“We are excited about the potential of our strengthened partnership with UNESCO and look forward to the cooperation. We are proud to be able to continue to share our knowledge and experience in these important areas, which align well with UNESCO's priorities,” said Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson,

The Director General expressed her appreciation for the establishment of this first multidisciplinary center in Iceland that will enhance mutual programmes in capacity building and research activities to achieve development results.

The Director General also reiterated her gratitude for the First strategic Partnership Framework Agreement as well as the first related Funding Agreement signed with Iceland this year that will reinforce UNESCO's delivery towards the SDGs and agenda 2030.