Swiss national Jakob Rhyner gives an interview on the role of UN University and how it is connected in Bonn.
Jakob Rhyner is the Vice Rector of the United Nations Regional Information Center for Western Europe (UNU-EHS). Here are excerpts from his interview with Ute Warkalla.
Why does the UN need its own university?
Jakob Rhyner: This question was of course asked before its establishment. On the one hand, one knew that the UN needed the scientific expertise, on the other hand, it was difficult to get answers from the universities on interdisciplinary questions, especially basic problems in the area of development assistance. At the time, the comprehensive view wished for by the UN was missing. Now, this interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach is found practically everywhere.
However, are there still differences between the UNU and other universities?
Jakob Rhyner: Universities are primarily scientific institutions and this should not change. We work scientifically but our attention is not only on scientific profiling. We work together with various organizations to find concrete suggestions for solutions, always keeping in mind the 17 global development targets. Our purpose is also that of a “think tank.” That means, it is not only expected that we present solutions to current problems but we also have to take on problems that our partners will present to us in ten years.
Interviewer: Ute Warkalla, 20.07.2016