SDG17: PARTNERSHIP FOR THE GOALS

INTRODUCTION

The Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030), also known by its acronym SDGs, are an initiative promoted by the United Nations to give continuity to the development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There are 17 objectives and 169 targets proposed as a continuation of the MDGs, including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption and peace, and justice, among other priorities. After a negotiation process on the SDGs that involved 193 member states of the UN, on September 25, 2015, the 193 world leaders approved at a summit held in New York in a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly, an Agenda entitled “Transform our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ", which entered into force on January 1, 2016.

The 17th goal of the Sustainable Development Goals encourages the creation of favorable conditions for a sustainable future through joint action by countries and local communities. In other words, SDG 17 represents the conclusion of global and local partnerships essential to achieving development, building capacities, enhancing trade exchange and mobilizing and investing financial and technological resources to improve the lives of individuals.

Any global partnership must rely on internal and external investment and innovative financing, ensuring sustainable levels of debt, building skills and competencies / enhancing access to trade, and allowing countries the freedom to set their own economic policies. The revitalization of any global partnership must also include a wide range of actors in the public and private sectors, civil society, sources of development financing, sharing of resources and knowledge, and addressing the primary issues underlying sustainable development for all.

Under the 2030 Agenda, development priorities and resources must be directed towards increasing the capacity of developing countries to mobilize domestic resources, expand economic infrastructure, improve domestic production capacities and high-quality basic social services, confront the effects of climate change, and encourage rapid economic growth that does not marginalize anyone, as well as the importance of ensuring food security and poverty eradication and encouraging the establishment of peaceful and just societies.

Since the ultimate function is to provide young people with quality education, the Lebanese University has a responsibility to focus on the importance of the SDGs in research and institutional culture, and cooperate with universities or other organizations to prepare conscious leaders in their community.

The Lebanese University works on more than a level to serve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in the specialized masters’ programs, such as Master in Energy Physics (SDG 7) and Master in Economic & Development Journalism (SDGs 1, 2 & 3). In addition, the agreements concluded with local and international organizations and activities in which university students participate, serve all SDGs.

SDG 17 - Partnerships to achieve the Goal

We can only talk about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with a strong commitment to partnership and cooperation at the international level.

Since the world is now more interconnected, after improving access to technology and knowledge as the primary means of sharing ideas and fostering innovation, policy coordination to help developing countries manage their debts and encourage investment in favor of the least developed countries is vital to achieving sustainable growth and development.

Despite the challenges of deficit and slow economic growth, Lebanon is determined to provide the financing needed to implement the 2030 Agenda through partnerships with the international community.

The community demonstrated its relentless commitment to Lebanon through the recent Cedar Conference, where the Lebanese government presented a vision that is in line with the 2030 Agenda and lays a solid foundation for growth, employment and development in Lebanon.

Achieving the goals of sustainable development requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society, i.e. partnerships based on common rules, values, visions and goals that focus on the following:

First – Finance

  • Providing international support to developing countries to improve their capacity to collect taxes and other revenues;

  • Developed countries to implement their commitments in the area of development assistance to least developed countries;

  • Helping developing countries achieve long-term debt sustainability;

  • Adopting and implementing investment promotion systems for the least developed countries.

Second – Technology

  • Promoting regional and international cooperation in, and access to, science, technology and innovation;

  • Promoting the development, transfer, diffusion and dissemination of environmentally sound technologies in developing countries on facilitative terms;

  • Activating the Technology Bank and the capacity-building mechanism in the fields of science, technology and innovation for the benefit of the least developed countries.

“CISCO Academy” of the Lebanese University (LU) organized a three-day workshop to discuss cybersecurity principles, in cooperation with “CISCO Academy” of the Lebanese Army.

The workshop held in the Central Administration Building, was attended by Mr. Mustafa Badawi, Mr. Jawad Khalifeh and Mr. Marc Khayyat, CISCO Academy Technical Director, representing the University.

Mr. Badawi stressed the importance of the ongoing cooperation between the LU and the Lebanese Army, and the importance of the workshop aimed at raising awareness on IT and cybersecurity principles for all members of the Lebanese army.

Third – Capacity Building

  • Enhancing international support for capacity building in developing countries in order to support national plans aimed at implementing all sustainable development goals.

Between the COVID-19 crisis and the Beirut Port explosion, the work of the Lebanese University Task Force (LUTF) unit was diversified throughout August 2020, in cooperation with the Disaster Risk Reduction Department (DRR) of the Lebanese Red Cross and a number of Local and international organizations, with the support of the Governor of Mount Lebanon, Judge Mohamad Makkawi.

In cooperation with the Lebanese Red Cross, LUTF team continues to follow-up on measures taken to prevent COVID-19 during the exam period at the Lebanese University, under the supervision of Dr. Roula Atwi, Dr. Elie Hadchiti, Dr. Mirna Attieh, and students Lynn Raad, Marc Bayyad and Maitham Yassin.

Fourth – Trade & Commerce

  • Supporting an open, non-discriminatory and fair global multilateral trading system within the framework of the World Trade Organization;

  • Significant increase in the exports of developing countries with the aim of doubling their share of global exports;

  • Facilitating the access of developing countries' products to world markets without high tariffs;

  • Working on global macroeconomic stability and encouraging public partnerships between the public and private sectors and effective civil society partnerships.

In conclusion, higher education institutions exist to serve and support society and thus, qualify students to participate and contribute positively to the improvement of their local and global communities.

The Higher Organizing Committee of the “2019 Arab Economic and Social Development Summit” (AESD) held a meeting on 3 January 2019 at the summit venue at the Beirut Waterfront Seaside Arena, allocated to presenting the stages of preparations in terms of organizational, logistical, security and media aspects, in addition to the results of the preparatory meetings that took place in Cairo.

The Summit Spokesman, Rafik Shalala, explained that the arrangements have been achieved by a large percentage, in addition to the completion of security, media, logistical and other arrangements. He pointed out that as a result of the turnout to participate in the summit, the registration period was extended until January 7 through the summit website: beirutsummit.gov.lb.

The Lebanese University, through the Dean of the Faculty of Economics & Business Administration, Professor Selim Mekdessi, participated in an international webinar organized on 19 June 2020 by the College of Business Administration at the “University of Bahrain” entitled "Sustainable Environment for Sustainable Education: What path for the future?".

This webinar aimed at increasing awareness of the international community about SDGs 4, 5, 6, 13 and 15 through a group of international experts who offered a thorough background about the topics of Climate Change, Life on Land, Clean Water & Sanitation, Quality Education and Gender Equality.

In addition to Dean Mekdessi from the Lebanese University, Dr. Hanan Elguindy, UNDP Development Management & Leadership Expert, Dr. Erin Kelly, Associate Professor in Forestry at Humboldt State University, Dr. Paul Ouedraogo, Ecologist Expert and Director of Programs, Institute to Support Development (IAD), Dr. Hasan Youness, University professor and Sustainability & CSR Expert and Dr. Naglaa Fathy El Dessouky, webinar organizer, all participated in the event.

In cooperation with the "Rossotrudnichestvo" office in Lebanon, the President of the Lebanese University, Professor Fouad Ayoub, held a working meeting with the Vice-chancellor of the North-Caucasus Federal University, Mrs. Nadezhda Akshurina, to discuss the possibility of establishing a research laboratory in the field of space science and geographic information technology between the two universities, and agreeing to sign a joint agreement on the sidelines of the Moscow International Education Show to be held in April.

The two parties discussed cooperation in scientific fields and plans to prepare joint international publications, in addition to implementing a student engineering project in the field of robotics, drones and satellites.

Professor Ayoub and Mrs. Akshurina also discussed joint work between professors of the two universities in the application of Erasmus+ Scientific Capacity Building program, which relates to the development of a new master's program in geography for migration and its policy.

Within the framework of the cultural month "Cultural Colors" launched by the Lebanese University - Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, under the high patronage of the President Fouad Ayoub, the Branch 3 received the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Lebanon, Baltabay Omarov and a number of employees of the Embassy.

For the occasion, the Faculty held a seminar on the perspectives and history of the Lebanese-Kazakh relations, which was attended by representatives of northern cultural organizations and associations, student associations and interested parties.

The Branch Director, Dr. Jacqueline Ayoub, welcomed the ambassador and thanked him for this instructive cultural visit.

Then, Dr. Jean Touma delivered a speech on behalf of the Branch, emphasizing the importance of this cultural month, which ends with a meeting with the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, and calling for the strengthening of the cultural and academic cooperation between the two countries.

Pursuant to the cooperation agreement signed with “University College London” (UCL), the Center of Language Sciences and Communication at the Lebanese University - Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences (FLHS) launched on 17 May 2020, the massive open online course (MOOC) entitled "E-Learning, Be Ready Now".

The course targets specialists from the higher education sector and previous cycles, and aims to develop the participants' capacities to acquire a pedagogical experience in favor of e-learning using technological tools for interactive activities.

Since its launch on the Arab "Edraak" platform on 26 April 2020, the course has been a great success in just two weeks, with around 16,000 participants from all Arab countries. Thus, the course will be relaunched periodically on the last Sunday of each month.

The President of the Lebanese University, Professor Fouad Ayoub, signed a cooperation agreement with the President of the Lebanese ECOSOC, Mr. Charles Arbid, in the Central Administration - Museum.

The signing of the agreement took place in the presence of Professor Zeinab Saad, General Coordinator of International Relations Office, Dr. Marlene Haidar, Dean of the Institute of Social Sciences, Dr. Selim Mekdessi, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, officials of the ECOSOC, and several directors and professors.

The agreement aims to activate the exchange of scientific and economic expertise and information between the two parties, to develop studies of common interest, to participate in conferences, seminars and workshops, to exchange various training programs, to prepare experts and specialized skills, in order to promote SDGs and to develop studies in the sectors of industry, trade, agriculture, tourism, science and technology.

The Coordination Office for Language Teaching at the Lebanese University, in cooperation with the Research Center and the Center for Language Sciences and Communication at the College of Arts and Humanities, organized a virtual joint conference with Cambridge English Language Assessment ( CAE - Cambridge Assessment English ) entitled "Remote evaluation and its role in educational achievement", with the participation of researchers From colleges at the Lebanese University and University College London ( UCL - University College London ).

The general coordinator of the Office for the Coordination of Language Teaching, Dr. Maha Jarjour stressed at the opening of the conference the importance of presenting successful experiences for evaluation from a distance and introducing the academic body in higher education to the most important tools currently in place and how to use them in order to find solutions, even partial, to the crisis that education is going through with the Corona crisis.

Then Professor George Hanna - Director in Charge of the Middle East Region at Cambridge for English Language Assessment - presented a complete model of the exams that CAE provides to English language students at different language levels and their remote follow-up mechanisms.

Within the framework of cooperation between the Lebanese University - Institute of Social Sciences and UNESCO, a seminar was held at the Doctoral School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences - Sin El Fil on a study entitled “Marginalized Women: The Situation of Older Syrian Rural Women in Wartime and Forced Displacement” in the presence of researchers, academics and students.

Parties on March 11, 2020, a coordination meeting was held between the Lebanese University and the Digital Transformation Network Lebanon , which mainly discussed the challenges facing the next academic year, including the issue of online education.

The meeting was attended by the Lebanese Coordinator of the University Executive Center information sources , Dr. Mustafa Sarji and coordinator of development programs at the center , Dr. Gilbert Suma and Drs Ibrahim Kebbi and Paul Khoueiry and Firas Murtaza and Haider and Hisham El Hajj Hassan Mahmoud Sands and Liz Safetla, while attended by network ( DT -the Network ) Education Sector Coordinator and Innovation Professor Rabi` Baalbaki and Chairman of the Committee of Digital Experts, Dr. Jamal Maslamani, the expert in digital curricula, Professor Noura Merhebi, and the CEO of the Interactive Education Technology Company, iET, Mr. Ziad Munther.

The meeting discussed the challenges of the next university year in light of the continuing repercussions of the Coronavirus, the most important of which is the development of a distance education strategy based on the university’s experience in this process during the second half of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Within the cooperation protocol signed between them in March 2020, a coordination meeting was held between representatives of the Lebanese University and the Digital Transformation Network Lebanon , which discussed addressing the problems and gaps related to the process of "distance education".

The meeting, which took place at the Conference Palace in the Rafic Hariri University City - Al Hadath on September 29, 2020, was attended by Dr. Mustafa Al Sarji, the Executive Coordinator of the Information Resources Center at the Lebanese University, and the Program Development Coordinator at the Center, Dr. Gilbert Saouma, while the Education Sector Coordinator attended the DT Network And innovation, Dr. Rabei Baalbaki and the head of the Digital Experts Committee in the network, Dr. Jamal Maslamani, expert in digital curricula, Professor Noura Merabi, and expert in electronic security and educational technology applications, Mr. Ibrahim Shaban .

As part of "Mataam Al Mahabba" events organized by "Fakkir B Ghayrak" Association in Al Mina - Tripoli, which provides poor families with a free daily lunch five days a week and hold humanitarian activities, students from the Lebanese University - Faculty of Letters & Human Sciences (Branch 3) participated in this event along with the Branch Director, Dr. Jacqueline Ayoub.

During the event, students volunteered to assist in preparing food for clients and visitors, carrying out all kitchen works (cooking, cleaning, etc.), in addition to organizing the rooms.

The LU students were received by Robert Ayoub, founder of the Association, who briefed them about the Association’s activities, goals, nature of its work and the services provided.

The students promised to participate again in such activities which reflect the University vision and strives to implement the principle of participatory volunteer work and social service, thus contributing to address matters related to community development.

In cooperation with EcoGreen Club FSP1, the environmental committee of the Lebanese University - Faculty of Public Health (Branch 1) organized a seminar entitled "Hek Mnefroz", meaning "This Is How We Sort Out", delivered by the environmental activist and member of the Dahiyati Tafroz Association, Mrs. Ola Harake.

The representative of the Faculty's environmental committee, Ms. Zeina Daher, gave a welcome address to the members of the association and to the participants, including professors, trainers and students. The seminar concluded with the launch of two activities by the environmental club in cooperation with the association, namely the "TrashTag Challenge" and the collection of plastic caps to become a hearing aid for the deaf.

In cooperation with “Fakkir B Ghayrak” Association, a group of students from the Faculty of Letters & Human Sciences (Branch 3) volunteered to serve the children of the “Maidat al Mahabba” restaurant, which provides free lunches to +150 persons from underprivileged families.

The students collected some winter clothes and placed them at the restaurant to be distributed to those in need, presented a memorial shield to those involved in humanitarian work, and promised to collaborate with the association in its humanitarian work, considering that the Faculty is part of its community, sharing the suffering and problems.