Voluntary Sustainability Standards Academic Advisory Council was launched

The Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) Academic Advisory Council (AAC) was officially launched as a joint initiative of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS), of which five United Nations agencies – FAO, UNIDO, ITC, UN Environment and UNCTAD –  are part of, and the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies (GGS) of the University of Leuven with the support of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO – International Coordination Action) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The initiative is aimed to bring together the knowledge and the research conducted around the importance of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) and their impact on developing countries.

The first AAC inception meeting was held virtually on 25 June 2020 with over 40 participants from academia and international organizations from all over the globe. During this occasion, the AAC members presented a wide array of work related to the multi-disciplinary approaches of VSS. The draft of the 4th UNFSS Flagship Report on “Scaling Up VSS through Sustainable Public Procurement and Trade Policy” was also discussed during this meeting as the first consultative intervention among a group of academic experts. This report is anticipated to be launched during the fall of 2020.

The Academic Advisory Council (AAC) has been established to function as a think-tank and is composed of renowned academic experts from across the globe with a wide variety of academic backgrounds, ranging from public international law, global governance, international political economy, economics and public management, to human rights and sustainability studies.

The main scientific objective of the AAC is to understand the effectiveness of VSS and the determinants of effectiveness. Currently, different disciplines approach questions related to the effectiveness of VSS from different theoretical perspectives and focus on different dimensions of effectiveness. The AAC’s objective is to bring these different perspectives into one overarching network on the effectiveness of VSS, thus contributing to a comprehensive understanding of VSS effectiveness.

To learn more about the UNFSS, its publications and initiatives, visit the UNFSS website.

For more information contact Dominika Dor (D.Dor [at] unido.org ())