The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in supporting and contributing to the realization of United Nations goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.
Since 2010, UNAI has created a vibrant and diverse network of students, academics, scientists, researchers, think tanks, institutions of higher education, continuing education and educational associations. There are over 1000 member institutions in more than 120 countries that reach millions of people in the education and research sectors around the world. Since its inception some thirty international networks of universities and other institutes of higher education and research have endorsed UNAI and encouraged their members to join, representing a global diversity of regions and a thematic wealth of disciplines.
The United Nations Academic Impact is informed by a commitment to support and advance ten basic principles:
- Addressing Poverty – A commitment to addressing issues of poverty through education;
- Capacity Building – A commitment to building capacity in higher education systems across the world;
- Education for All – A commitment to educational opportunity for all people regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity;
- Global Citizenship – A commitment to encouraging global citizenship through education;
- Access to Higher Education – A commitment to the opportunity for every interested individual to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for the pursuit of higher education;
- Human Rights – A commitment to human rights, among them freedom of inquiry, opinion, and speech;
- Intercultural Dialogue – A commitment to promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding, and the “unlearning” of intolerance, through education.
- Peace and Conflict Resolution – A commitment to advancing peace and conflict resolution through education;
- Sustainability – A commitment to promoting sustainability through education;
- United Nations Charter – A commitment to the principles inherent in the United Nations Charter.
UNAI is aided in its work to advance these principles by UNAI member institutions that focus on a particular principle in their own activities and in cooperation with other members.