The mission of the UN University is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States.
In carrying out this mission, the UN University works with leading universities and research institutes in UN Member States, functioning as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system.
Through postgraduate teaching activities, UNU contributes to capacity building, particularly in developing countries.
In his 1969 Annual Report to the United Nation General Assembly, UN Secretary-General U Thant proposed the creation of a “United Nations University, truly international in character and devoted to the Charter objectives of peace and progress”.
The General Assembly ordered a feasibility study and appointed a panel of experts to work closely with UNESCO in examining the potential for building such an institution. The panel submitted a report to the UN Economic and Social Council in September 1972, and in December 1972 the General Assembly adopted the decision to establish the United Nations University (UNU), thereby formally establishing the world’s first international university. A Founding Committee then prepared a draft University Charter and Resolution, both of which were approved by the General Assembly in December 1973.
It was through the generosity of the Government of Japan, which offered to provide headquarters facilities in Tokyo and to contribute US$100 million to establish an endowment fund, that UNU was able to launch its academic work in September 1975.
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