Thursday, 23 November 2017

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New collaboration between UNU-CRIS, UGent and VUB

David M. Malone talking about regionalisation at UNU-CRIS event in Bruges

10.02.2017 – Yesterday, the United Nations University (UNU) announced their new five-year cooperation agreement with Ghent University (UGent) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), in Bruges City Hall. During a lively debate, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNU Rector, David M. Malone, the governor of the Province of West Flanders, Carl Decaluwé, the mayor of Bruges, Renaat Landuyt, and the rectors of UGent and the VUB, discussed the importance of research on regional integration.

The rector of the VUB, Dr. Caroline Pauwels, praised the interdisciplinary and transnational visions of UNU-CRIS. Next to its focus on comparative analysis of regional organisations such as Mercosur and the EU, UNU-CRIS will also study the interaction between regionalism, democracy and welfare. This will then link its work with the Sustainable Development Goals and provide policy-relevant research to the UN and the national governments.

Based in Bruges, the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies will focus on fostering a better understanding of regional integration processes worldwide and the role of regionalisation. United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNU Rector David M. Malone was pleased about the new memorandum of understanding. "I am very positive this will work out. UNU-CRIS will increasingly start focusing on the different definitions of what regions represent today, which is of tremendous importance to the UN."

UNU is an independent think tank and research arm for the United Nations system with a global network of 11 research and training institutes coordinated by the headquarters in Tokyo. “We are at the midst of reinventing ourselves. It is important to use the power of knowledge”, declared David Malone. He also insisted on the importance of more evidence-rooted studies to support the work of the United Nations. 

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