Simferopol, Ukraine

6 November 2013

Secretary-General's message to meeting of the Black Sea Universities Network

I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at this meeting of the Black Sea Universities Network.

Since the United Nations was founded, institutions of higher learning have helped to advance its mission in myriad ways. Academic research has contributed to the eradication of smallpox, treatment for HIV/AIDS, breakthroughs on agricultural development, strategies for ending poverty and so much more.

I launched the United Nations Academic Impact three years ago to further mobilize the global academic community to help reach the Millennium Development Goals and achieve progress on peace and human rights. Since then, more than 1,000 colleges and universities spanning some 120 countries have joined the Academic Impact initiative.

I applaud the Black Sea Universities Network for leading the Initiative’s global hub on sustainability, and I welcome your focus on tourism as a key driver of sustainable development. Through your discussions and your work, you can help optimize the value of tourism to contribute to a greener future while promoting cooperation among the countries of the Black Sea region.

I thank you for your contributions and wish you great success.