In late November, UNU and UNESCO agreed to establish a UNESCO–UNU Chair on Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement of People. This new UNESCO–UNU Chair, to be located at the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS; Bruges, Belgium) in cooperation with the University of Pretoria (South Africa), will be officially launched in February.
Dr. Bob Deacon, an Associate Research Fellow at UNU-CRIS and Professor of International Social Policy at the University of Sheffield (UK), will serve as the first holder of this UNESCO–UNU Chair.
Prof. Bob Deacon, first holder of the UNESCO–UNU Chair on Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement of People.
The UNESCO–UNU Chair on Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement of People will creatively address the opportunities and challenges of regional integration, including the social dimension of regional integration and migration. A particular focus will be on the free movement of people within South Africa and the southern African region.
This UNESCO–UNU Chair will engender collaboration between a variety of partnerships and networks. The aim is to produce a set of orientation guidelines for local representatives highlighting the main problems that have to be addressed with regard to the free movement of people, and effective responses that may be implemented in different contexts.
By bringing together academics as well as representatives of governments, and regional and non-governmental organizations, and private-sector organizations, this UNESCO–UNU Chair will function as a think tank and bridge builder, sharing its expertise to contribute (through research, training and capacity building) to making tangible the free movement of people in the southern African region by decreasing contentious debates and implementing an open problem-solving communication process.
The UNESCO–UNU Chair on Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement of People will join a number of other chairs and networks established cooperatively by UNESCO and UNU over the past two decades. These include the UNESCO–UNU Chair in Plant Biotechnology, Beijing University (China, 1992); UNESCO–UNU Chair in Cultural Rights, Universidad de Palermo (Argentina, 1994); UNESCO–UNU Chair/Network on Global Economics and Sustainable Development, Colégio do Brasil (1996); UNESCO–UNU Chair on the Concept and Practice of Zero Emission in Africa, University of Namibia (1996); UNESCO–UNU Mobile Chair in University History and Future, Universidad de Palermo (Argentina, 1997); Mediterranean Network on Water Resources, Sustainable Development and Peace, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France, 1999); and UNU–UNITWIN Network of Africa-Asia University Dialogue for Educational Development, Hiroshima University (Japan, 2010).