Veracruz Declaration: Fostering Education, Leadership, and Livelihoods

 

The Talloires Network traces its roots to the signing of the Talloires Declaration in 2005. Gathered in the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France, leaders representing 29 institutions of higher education set forth a vision for collaboration and action that has seen the network grow and evolve.

At the last conference, we took the opportunity to declare our shared values and vision for university civic engagement. The following is the text of the Veracruz Declaration, which was written in collaboration by global university leaders, students, and community leaders. It was signed in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico at the 2017 Talloires Network Leaders Conference at the Universidad Veracruzana after a participatory process to gather input and feedback.

 

See the document signed by the Steering Committee here.

List of conference delegates who signed the declaration at the conference. To sign, you may do so here.

THE VERACRUZ DECLARATION

The Talloires Network is an international network of universities dedicated to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education institutions.

We believe that higher education institutions exist to serve and to foster relationships with the society and communities of which they are a part. As institutions, we are a dynamic force in society and serve to provide critical perspectives to protect and promote the common good in society. We incorporate civic engagement with our communities as core to our research, teaching, and cultural outreach in order to contribute to social harmony and stability.

We, leaders from 76 universities and higher education partner institutions from 31 countries around the globe, gathered in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, to learn from and share experiences of building and embedding the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education within our societies.

We gathered at a time when our societies as a whole, and universities as social institutions, are experiencing challenges such as racial injustice, material and spiritual poverty, illiteracy that limits cultural development, the breakdown of social structures, and actions which threaten the sustainability of our environment. We acknowledged that these challenges require collaborative efforts to explore alternative approaches to progress and to human well-being.

In this context, we declare:

  • Universities have the responsibility to promote education as a universal human right to aid in addressing the aforementioned challenges;
  • Universities have the responsibility to promote sustainable communities and societies with leadership opportunities for development, the equitable distribution of resources, and collaboration with community organizations, government agencies, private companies and non-profit organizations;
  • Universities have the responsibility to promote access to knowledge and technology for creating prosperous communities and societies;
  • Universities have the responsibility to promote productive scholarship with and among communities to contribute to the strengthening of culture, social stability and harmony, social inclusion, and collaboration towards the common good.

We understand that the above is related to three particular rights and their associated responsibilities:

  1. The right to education – the responsibility to be socially inclusive and to promote quality education for all;
  2. The right to leadership opportunities and economic mobility – the responsibility to create prosperous communities and societies; and
  3. The right to a livelihood – the responsibility to prepare people for employment and entrepreneurship, and to contribute to economic development.

We believe that universities have a unique role in bringing global networks to bear on local and regional issues. We recognize that cultural diversity exists within different countries and understand that we share similar challenges. We recognize that in order to promote and devise new ways for leaders to thrive, we must: learn and develop skills to encourage supportive and inclusive learning environments, have the ingenuity to overcome obstacles, and actively exchange knowledge in dialogue across differences.

We understand that these responsibilities derived from the rights above rest upon heads of institutions, academics, students, administrators as well as the governmental bodies and communities of which they are a part.

We hereby reaffirm and expand the Talloires Declaration of 2005 and the Talloires Network Call to Action of 2014. With the passage of the Veracruz Declaration of 2017, we emphasize the need to advance social responsibility and human dignity through higher education engagement. This begins, we agree, with the conviction that education is a human right, and that with rights come responsibilities.

We invite students, heads of institutions, professors and academics, alumni, philanthropists, members of governmental bodies, and citizens from around the globe to join in this Declaration and to collaborate in this work.

LA DECLARACIÓN DE VERACRUZ

La Red Talloires es una asociación internacional de universidades dedicadas a fortalecer los roles cívicos y la responsabilidad social de instituciones de educación superior.

Creemos que las instituciones de educación superior existen para servir y desarrollar lazos con la sociedad y las comunidades de las que formamos parte. Como instituciones, somos una fuerza dinámica en nuestra sociedad, que sirve para proveer perspectivas críticas. Incorporamos el compromiso cívico y el trabajo comunitario como parte de nuestras misiones de investigación, enseñanza y divulgación cultural, para contribuir a la armonía y estabilidad social.

Nos reunimos en Xalapa, Veracruz, México, líderes de 76 universidades e instituciones asociadas de educación superior de 31 países de todo el mundo, para aprender de las experiencias de los demás en construir e incorporar los roles cívicos y las responsabilidades sociales de la educación superior en nuestros entornos.

Nos reunimos en un momento en que tanto nuestras sociedades en general, y las universidades como instituciones sociales, están enfrentando desafíos como la ignominia racial, la pobreza material y espiritual, el analfabetismo que limita el desarrollo cultural, la ruptura de estructuras sociales y acciones depredadoras que propician ruptura del equilibrio natural.

En este contexto, declaramos:

  • Que las universidades tenemos el compromiso de promover la educación como un derecho humano universal que contribuya a resolver los desafíos mencionados;
  • Que las universidades tenemos la responsabilidad de promover comunidades y sociedades justas y prósperas con oportunidades para el desarrollo y la distribución equitativa de la riqueza, a partir del trabajo colaborativo con organizaciones comunitarias, agencias gubernamentales, empresas privadas, y organizaciones no gubernamentales;
  • Que las universidades tenemos la responsabilidad de promover acceso al conocimiento y la tecnología para crear comunidades y sociedades prósperas;
  • Que entre las funciones de las instituciones de educación superior, está la de contribuir al fortalecimiento de la cultura, de la solidaridad social y la colaboración hacia el bien común.

Entendemos que lo anterior se relaciona con tres derechos particulares y sus responsabilidades asociadas:

  1. El derecho a la educación – la responsabilidad de ser socialmente inclusivos y promover la educación para todos;
  2. El derecho a oportunidades de liderazgo y movilidad económica – la responsabilidad de crear comunidades y sociedades prósperas;
  3. El derecho a un sustento – la responsabilidad de preparar a las personas para la vida laboral, con un espíritu empresarial, que contribuya al desarrollo económico.

Creemos que las universidades tienen un rol único de crear redes globales para enfrentar problemas locales y regionales. Reconocemos que existe una diversidad cultural entre los diferentes países, pero también enfrentamos problemas similares. Por lo tanto, reconocemos que para impulsar e idear nuevas maneras de generar condiciones para el desarrollo humano integral, es necesario el intercambio de conocimientos, experiencias intelectuales y comunitarias, las habilidades para propiciar ambientes de aprendizaje solidarios, el ingenio para superar obstáculos y el intercambio del saber entre personas más allá de nuestras diferencias.

Entendemos que el compromiso derivado de los derechos antes expresados, debe ser asumido por académicos, estudiantes, administrativos y directivos de las universidades, y por los órganos gubernamentales y las comunidades de las que forman parte.

Reafirmamos y ampliamos la Declaración de Talloires de 2005 y la Llamada a la Acción de TNLC 2014. Con la aprobación de la Declaración de Veracruz de 2017, enfatizamos la necesidad de impulsar la responsabilidad social y la dignidad humana a través del compromiso colectivo de las instituciones de educación superior. Con el convencimiento y la convicción de que la educación es un derecho humano al que toda persona debe acceder, y en consecuencia asumir las responsabilidades.

Invitamos a estudiantes universitarios, personal, profesores, ex alumnos, filántropos, empresarios, miembros de los órganos de gobierno y ciudadanos de todo el mundo a unirse a nosotros en estas iniciativas.