Taking Responsibility

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Members of the U7+, a global alliance of universities, agree on far-reaching commitments at their first meeting in Paris, including commitments to climate change and social cohesion

No 212/2019 from Jul 11, 2019

An alliance of 47 universities from 18 countries around the world held its first meeting in Paris, where its members decided on far-reaching goals in socially relevant fields. The university presidents in the U7+ alliance, including Günter M. Ziegler from Freie Universität Berlin, signed an agreement on Wednesday evening at the end of the two-day event in Paris. The universities led by these presidents acknowledge that they play an important role in an increasingly globalized world and are, therefore, committed to taking action in five specific areas, including climate change and clean energy. They have also agreed to fight inequality and the polarization of society in their home countries. The list of commitments also mentions their duty in shaping how digital transformations influence people’s daily lives and their responsibility to prepare students for their roles as active members in civil society, both locally and globally.

French President Emmanuel Macron presided over the meeting. Macron plans to present the alliance’s goals at the G7 summit, where the leading industrial nations will meet at the end of August in Biarritz, France. The alliance was established on June 5 and sees itself as an action coalition of universities that transcends national and continental borders. The presidents of the member universities have promised to regularly report on their universities’ activities.

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