Rector Pablo Narvas of Uniandes and Professor Jeffrey Sachs of SDSN sign a formal agreement to establish the SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bogota, 2 March 2018: Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) are jointly developing an SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean, to be housed at Uniandes in Bogotá. The SDG Center LAC, established with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will be the first of its kind in Latin America and is envisaged to be a regional hub for SDG-related research and professional training, and related public policy activity.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed to globally in 2015 as a framework for action and accountability to guide progress on sustainable development through 2030. The center will focus on the most pressing sustainable development challenges of the region and their diverse social, economic, environmental, political and cultural dimensions and its interlinkages. In order to address these pressing issues, the Center will concentrate on strategies to achieve SDGs which present particularly urgent challenges in the region: SDG 4 (Education); SDG 9 (Industry Innovation and Infrastructure); SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities); SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities); SDG 13 (Climate Action); SDG 14 (Life on Land); and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions).

The SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean will host activities relating to policy analysis and research programs for integrated sustainable development. The Center will leverage the resources of the University, tab into the IDB’s expertise of the region and use SDSN’s global network to create, adapt, and disseminate analytical tools for SDG policy planning and implementation in the region. This Center is one of three such centers globally, including the SDG Center for Africa launched in 2016 and the SDG Center for Southeast Asia launched in 2017.

The formal announcement of the partnership to establish the Center took place at Universidad de los Andes on March 2nd. Rector Pablo Navas of Uniandes hosted Jeffrey Sachs, director of SDSN and members of Uniandes to announce the start of operations.

“The SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean will convene experts from around the region and the world, representing not only academia but also governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations, to help achieve the ambitious 2030 agenda,” said Jeffrey Sachs, Director of SDSN. “SDSN is proud to partner with Uniandes to establish such a vital institution for the region.”

“Uniandes is a world-class institution with remarkable researchers and students who are committed to achieving the SDGs,” remarked Rector Pablo Navas of Uniandes. “This Center will foster new opportunities to bring our standard for excellence to new research, education and policy with partners across Colombia and our region around our common goals.”

The operations of the newly announced Center are in line with the IDB’s work in these sectors and its commitment to working with partners to advance the SDGs. President Luis Alberto Moreno of the IDB remarked, “It is critical that all actors, including the private sector and academic institutions, come together with governments and civil society groups to create pathways to achieve the SDGs. I am proud that the Inter-American Development Bank is collaborating with Uniandes and SDSN to establish this Center as a platform for creating novel strategies to drive sustainable development across the Americas.”

This new endeavor comes as UNIANDES marks its 70th anniversary as a vital center of learning in Colombia and will serve to solidify the University’s regional and global leadership.

The SDG Center for the Latin American and Caribbean region

The four specific priorities of the SDG Center will be:

  • To promote the SDGs in Latin America and the Caribbean, using interdisciplinary research and policy to bring together local universities, businesses, government and civil society.
  • To design and lead a research agenda related to education, innovation, infrastructure, inequality, sustainable cities, climate action, biodiversity and peace.
  • To train the next generation of leaders in sustainable development from the region by offering high-quality courses and executive training programs to reach students, professionals, government officials and policy leaders.
  • To serve as a convening hub on issues and initiatives related to SDG 16 especially for knowledge sharing and solutions on the continuum of prevention, conflict resolution and reconciliation, peacekeeping, sustaining peace and advancing sustainable development.


About the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN)

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) operates under the auspices of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to mobilize leaders from academia, business, civil society, and other development organizations to promote problem solving and practical solutions for the pressing challenges of sustainable development. Following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the SDSN is committed to supporting the implementation of the SDGs at local, national, and global scales. The SDSN aims to accelerate joint learning and help to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated approaches to the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world.

About Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes)

The establishment of the SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean is led inside the Universidad de los Andes by the School of Management and School of Economics, in participation with other academic units, including the School of Law, the School of Government and the Interdisciplinary Center for Development (CIDER).

Universidad de los Andes was founded in 1948, and it was the first private university in Colombia that was independent from political or religious movements or parties. It was conceived as a study center, a research center, and a place where truth could be upheld. Ever since the university was founded, its activities have focused on excellence, and this is affirmed in the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP). It is currently the only private university in the country that has been awarded a ten-year institutional accreditation for quality by the National Ministry of Education through Resolution 582 of January 9th 2015. Universidad de los Andes . Moreover, the Faculty of Management has the prestigious “Triple Crown”, which consists of three accreditations (EQUIS, AMBA, and AACSB); this is only held by 1% of business schools around the world. Additionally, eight undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Engineering have the International ABET accreditation.

About the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

The Inter-American Development Bank is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides loans, grants and guarantees, the IDB conducts cutting-edge research to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges. Founded in 1959 to help accelerate progress in its developing member countries, the IDB continues to work every day to improve lives.