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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

3 November 2021 - The University of Cambridge held a special Congregation of its Regent House, for its Chancellor, Lord Sainsbury of Turville, to confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Law on His Excellency António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

In an address to the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, academics, students and civic guests, given in the University’s Senate House after being admitted to his degree, the Secretary-General spoke of the urgent need for global research institutions like Cambridge to find scientific solutions, to produce solid facts, to enlighten people through education and learning; to drive change and offer discoveries that can benefit the entire world. 

“We are careering toward climate catastrophe, unless we act now to keep temperature rises to the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement. "Cambridge University is at the forefront of efforts to tackle these crises, through Cambridge Zero and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative..

...the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership is demonstrating that academia and the corporate sector can work together to drive transformative change,” - António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J. Toope, OC said: "I am delighted that the University has today honoured the Secretary-General, António Guterres with an honorary degree. In doing so, Cambridge is also recognising the work of his UN colleagues around the globe. The Secretary-General is playing a crucial role in the arduous negotiations taking place at COP26, and has been stark in his warning about the risks we are up against. But he has also given us hope. The UN’s 'Our Common Agenda' initiative is a rousing call to strengthen multilateralism.


Full original University of Cambridge article.

Read the UN Secretary-General's remarks in full

View the ceremony in full