UVU Professor Contributes To United Nations Discussions
May 16, 2014
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton, 801-863-6807
Rusty Butler, associate vice president for International Affairs & Diplomacy and coordinator of programs of the Mountain Partnership at Utah Valley University, recently participated at a United Nations meeting on mountain-related targets for the sustainable development goals.
Held at the U.N. permanent mission of Romania and titled “Raising the Profile of Mountains in the Sustainable Development Goals,” the meeting was co-hosted by the permanent mission to the United Nations of Romania, Nepal, Austria and the Mountain Partnership secretariat.
The meeting was held a week before the 11th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, which discussed new initiatives for the international community to replace expiring Millennium Development Goals in 2015. The Mountain Partnership, as a main coordinator of the mountain activities globally, seeks to mobilize mountain nations in order to propose possible mountain-related goals, targets, and initiatives to be included in the overall post-2015 development agenda of the United Nations.
“We had one more productive meeting in terms of working jointly with many mountain nations on promotion of sustainable mountain development goals of the United Nations,” Butler said. “UVU has contributed to the U.N. gender and SMD-activities since 2006. We are determined to both continue to do so and to involve students as new leaders in mountain advocacy.”
In his remarks during the meeting, Butler urged that the Mountain Partnership message before the Open Working Group become succinct and compelling so as not to get lost. He also announced UVU’s plans to host the fourth international Women of the Mountains Conference Oct. 7–9, 2015, in Orem. The conference will continue to promote the gender agenda both in the Rocky Mountain region and globally. Another important initiative from UVU is the development of an all-inclusive student/faculty-designed database on sustainable mountain development and conflict prevention.
As part of the visit to New York, Butler had a meeting at the office of U.N. Women to discuss potential joint cooperation in hosting the 2015 Women of the Mountains Conference in Utah. Butler also spoke with permanent representatives of several diplomatic missions, including Uzbekistan, Greece, Kenya, and Tajikistan, about coming to Utah to speak as part of the school’s Ambassador Lecture Series.