Tokyo, Geneva, Bonn, 09 October 2019 ― The United Nations University (UNU) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to transition a UNU programme to UNITAR.

The Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme has been hosted at the UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe in Bonn, Germany since 2016. SCYCLE conducts and shares comprehensive and practical research to help societies reduce environmental damage caused by the production, use, and disposal of waste including of electrical and electronic equipment.

“It has been our pleasure to host SCYCLE for these past years, and we greatly look forward to watching their important work continue together with UNITAR,” said UNU Rector and UN Under Secretary General David M. Malone. “Given that SCYCLE focuses heavily on data gathering, training, and technical assistance, we believe that UNITAR, with its strong capacity-building focus, offers the perfect future home for the programme.”

“I am delighted with this move” said UNITAR Executive Director and UN Assistant Secretary-General, Nikhil Seth. “The process has been exemplary, and I want to thank David Malone for his support and that of the whole UNU team in Bonn. SCYCLE brings to UNITAR world class capacities in research that are closely aligned with the SDGs. SCYCLE will be hosted within UNITAR’s Division for Planet”.

The agreement stipulates that the SCYCLE Programme will be gradually integrated into UNITAR beginning on 30 September 2019, with full integration completed by 31 December 2021. During the transition phase, UNU will continue to administer projects that were launched under agreements or contracts signed by UNU, while UNITAR will administer all new projects that are initiated under agreements or contracts signed by UNITAR from 1 October 2019.

During the transition phase, UNITAR and UNU shall refer to the SCYCLE Programme in public documents as “a joint undertaking being gradually transferred from UNU to UNITAR”. After 31 December 2021, the SCYCLE Programme will be presented externally as a fully integrated programme of UNITAR.

About UNU

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.


The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations, working in every region of the world. The Institute empowers individuals, governments and organizations through high-quality learning solutions and related knowledge products and services to overcome global challenges.  Guided by the UNITAR Statute, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international agreements of 2015, the Institute’s objectives, programming and activities are structured under the Peace, People, Planet and Prosperity pillars of the 2030 Agenda, in addition to crosscutting programme pillars on accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, multilateral diplomacy and optimizing the use of technologies for evidence-based decision-making. In 2018, UNITAR delivered 683 training and learning events participated by close to 85,000 beneficiaries, mainly from developing countries around the world.


Since January 2016 the newly established Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme is hosted by UNU’s Vice Rectorate in Europe. SCYCLE’s mandate is the promotion of sustainable societies. Its activities are focused on the development of sustainable production, consumption and disposal patterns for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), as well as for other ubiquitous goods. As such SCYCLE leads the global e-waste research and trainings and advances sustainable e-waste management strategies based on life-cycle thinking.

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