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CIFAL City of London is part of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). It is the 25th international training and research centre of the CIFAL Global Network and is the only centre in the United Kingdom.

Our Vision

CIFAL City of London aspires to build capacity in the maritime sector to create a sustainable future whilst working towards the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015.


Our Mission

CIFAL City of London’s mission is to:

  • offer training opportunities;
  • exchange best practice, tools and strategies in partnership with local, regional, and international authorities and organisations including the private sector and civil society;
  • support the improvement of decision-making processes through leadership of the implementation of innovative solutions that strengthen capacity to address sustainable development at the local level;
  • support the improvement of leadership ability to make decisions and develop innovations which encourage sustainable development which in turn will facilitate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


The CIFAL Global Network

The CIFAL Global Network’s mission is to strengthen the capacities of Government Officials and Civil Society Leaders, thus empowering them to advance sustainable development.

The CIFAL Global Network is composed of 31 International Training Centres for Authorities and Leaders, all coordinated by UNITAR’s Social Development Programme. The strategic locations of the 31 centres, which can be found across Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean ensure a global outreach. Each CIFAL centre provides innovative training and serves as a hub for the exchange of knowledge amongst government officials, the private sector, and civil society. 



Director of CIFAL City of London

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Professor Başak Akdemir, PhD FIMarEST

Professor Başak Akdemir is the Chief Executive of MLA College, Executive Director of CIFAL City of London and a Fellow of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.  CIFAL City of London and MLA College work together to make positive change in the world of sustainability.

She has worked within the maritime industry and academia, served as the managing partner of a ship owning company and acted as a Board Member in the Turkish Chamber of Shipping and a member of the Board of Governors at Piri Reis University. She is a board of trustee member of Turkish Maritime Education Foundation. 

Professor Akdemir was awarded a PhD from De Montfort University with the thesis “Improving Supply Forecasting within the Shipping Industry”; the forecasting model developed in this programme of study made use of neural networks and employed novel methods to identify sudden changes in the market. It provided a mechanism of corrective action for when the fluctuations in the market were considered excessive. 

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