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United Nations Corner

The United Nations (UN) was created in 1945, at the end of World War II, as an international peacekeeping organization and a forum for resolving conflicts between nations. The UN replaced the League of Nations, which had failed to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War.

In the 1950s and 1960s, decolonization transformed the composition and functioning of the UN. During this time, dozens of newly independent countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East joined the United Nations and sought to redirect the energies of the organization toward easing the transition to independence.

As a result of the activism of states referred to during the Cold War as the “Third World,” the UN took on additional responsibilities for economic, political, and social development, and the monitoring and enforcement of fundamental human rights. Since the early 1990s the United Nations has increasingly focused its work on the issue of sustainable development.

Learn more about the UN and Sustainable Development and get more information on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how it relates to the work of our University.

17 Sustainable Development Goals


Goal 1: No Poverty
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Goal 4: Quality Education
Goal 5: Gender Equality
Goal 6: Clean Water and Snaitation
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 13: Climate Action
Goal 14: Life Below Water
Goal 15: Life on Land
Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

View the details of the Sustainability Goals

Resources for Students, Faculty, and Staff

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

The University has been a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) sin 2014. SDSN has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

SDSN has launched an online communications platform for all SDSN members called Mobilize to engage in discussions, seek advice, and exchange knowledge in an informal way.

SDSN Mobilize is open to all faculty and staff from the University. In case you would like to stay up to date on funding opportunities, research projects and the like, please let us (psegiss@montclair.edu) know, for registration purposes.

Students have the opportunity to become members of SDSN Youth. SDSN Youth educates young people about the Sustainable Development Goals and provides opportunities for them to pioneer innovative solutions to address the world’s biggest challenges. Learn more on the SDSN Youth website.

Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI)

HESI, a partnership between United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNESCO, United Nations Environment, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, United Nations University (UNU), UN-HABITAT, UNCTAD and UNITAR, was created in 2012 in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

With commitments from over 300 universities from around the world, HESI accounted for more than one-third of all the voluntary commitments that were launched at Rio+20. Through its strong association with the United Nations, HESI provides higher education institutions with a unique interface between higher education, science, and policy making.

As a member of HESI, Montclair State University commits to:

  • Teach sustainable development across all disciplines of study,
  • Encourage research and dissemination of sustainable development knowledge,
  • Green campuses and support local sustainability efforts, and
  • Engage and share information with international networks.

HESI offers the Sulitest, which was created to help higher education institutions, companies and organizations around the world ensure that their graduates, employees, stakeholders and managers demonstrate core knowledge about the global challenges of the 21st century. The Sulitest, which is free, measures sustainability literacy and can be easily used by educators.

United Nations Academic Impact

In 2018, the University became a member of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). This initiative 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 1300 member institutions in more than 130 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. Faculty can access this network and seek collaboration for diverse projects. Students can search the website for scholarship opportunities across the globe.