On March 16 and 17, 2019, members of SDSN Black Sea and the SDSN global leadership participated in the 7th Baku Global Forum, organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC). This important global event gathered more than 400 top diplomats, current and former heads of state, Nobel prize winners, and other regional business, scientific, and political leaders in Baku, Azerbaijan, to discuss approaches to “A New Foreign Policy.”

SDSN Director Prof. Jeffrey Sachs discussed the challenges of sustainable development with a distinguished group of experts. Watch the full discussion here:

SDSN Black Sea also organized a morning side event on Sunday, March 17, together with the NGIC, the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), the World University Consortium (WUC), and the Black Sea University Network (BSUN), to discuss global leadership issues, with a special emphasis on the SDGs. In this context, participants explored the essential qualities, role, strategies, and initiatives needed for effective leadership by universities to address the critical challenges confronting humanity today. All participants agreed that WAAS and WUC should cooperate with BSUN and SDSN Black Sea in areas of common interest and especially in the implementation of the SDGs in the Black Sea.

In the afternoon, the Executive Board of BSUN, the Leadership Council of SDSN Black Sea, and honorable guests convened for a joint meeting on the topic of “Education, Science and Innovation for supporting the Implementation of the SDGs in the Wider Black Sea Region.” Participants engaged in a vivid discussion on scientific research and innovation, as well as awareness-raising and outreach for the implementation of the SDGs in the wider Black Sea region. Representatives from both SDSN Black Sea and BSUN member universities shared their case studies on SDG implementation.

A number of suggestions and conclusions were derived by the end of the meeting, including the following long-term priorities for the SDSN Black Sea:

  • Develop a common program of study such as a Black Sea Studies Master’s program
  • Host an annual conference with young people, inviting external participants and public authorities
  • Assist the improvement of SDG-related measurements and monitoring procedures through the development of an observatory for collecting and managing data in the Black Sea region
  • Focus on the ecological management of the Black Sea and to promote the use of sustainable energy sources
  • Organize a meeting in Bucharest in 2020 on the impact of Danube river to the Black Sea. All the countries within the wider watershed of Danube river would be invited to participate.

Group photograph of the participants at the BSUN – SDSN Black Sea meeting.