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Penn Law partners with UNDP-SDG Fund

April 11, 2017

The University of Pennsylvania Law School and the United Nations Development Programme-Sustainable Development Goals Fund (UN-SDG Fund) have established an agreement to strengthen cooperation and enhance the effectiveness of global development efforts.

In September 2015 at the United Nations 70th General Assembly, world leaders adopted a new ambitious global strategy for development, comprising a range of major goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure sustainability. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or the 2030 Agenda and their 169 specific goals, comprehensively address the complex challenges that humanity must solve in the next 15 years.

“This exciting partnership builds on Penn Law’s engagement with some of the world’s most critical global institutions,” said Ted Ruger, Dean of Penn Law and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. “By working closely with the UN-SDG Fund, the Law School will bring to bear its knowledge and resources on supporting sustainable development throughout the world.”

Paloma Duran, the Executive Director of the UN-SDG Fund commented that “the main objective of the SDG Fund is to bring together UN agencies, national governments, academia, civil society, and businesses to address the challenges of poverty and inequality,” she said. “Penn Law is an important partner in this important global agenda.”

Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Penn Law’s Associate Dean of International Affairs, serves as Adviser to the UN-SDG Fund. The 2030 Agenda has introduced a number of fundamental changes in the approach to sustainable development, she explained, such as Goal 16 of the SDGs, which establishes that peace, justice, and effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions are at the core of sustainable development. 

“Law schools like Penn Law help build the next generation of legal experts who can address social, economic and environmental challenges at the core of the SDGs. Law Schools have an important role to play in advancing Goal 16 of the SDGs, which for the first time links the rule of law and access to justice as global development imperatives,” said de Silva de Alwis.

Penn Law has led the way among law schools in its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2015 and 2016, in partnership with UN Women and UNESCO, Penn Law hosted three high-level dialogues in New York and Paris and will rededicate its commitments to the SDG Fund through collaborative initiatives and student internships. 

On March 10, Penn Law and its international partners from the United Nations, including the UN SDG Fund, convened a high-level roundtable on women and legislative reform at the law firm of Wachtell Lipton in New York City. Policymakers who drafted important gender equality laws from Mexico to Morocco joined in this important conversation.