Leading scientists to define the requirements and potential of science in addressing global challenges

Twenty-six of the world’s leading scientists will examine how science can help overcome global challenges and what it needs to do so during the 4th meeting of the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board. The meeting will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 14 and 15 December.

The two-day meeting will be hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation. It will be co-chaired by the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and Professor Vladimir Fortov, member of the Board and President of the Russian Academy of Science.

The Board will offer recommendations on a range of topics, concerning sustainable development and climate-related risks. Its debates will notably focus on the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations’ General Assembly in September and the outcome of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) and will serve as the backbone for a consolidated report.

Recommendations are also expected to focus on ways to include local and indigenous knowledge in scientific assessments and decision-making processes concerning scientific, political and societal issues. The Scientific Advisory Board is also scheduled to finalize its “Delphi Study on the Top Challenges for the Future of Humanity” and a policy brief on the data revolution, which were discussed during their last meeting in May 2015.

The central function of the Board is to advise the UN Secretary-General and the UN system on science, technology and innovation (STI) for sustainable development.

The meeting will open with a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, followed by a High Level discussion panel on 14 December at the University Gornyi, and a round-table on “Mapping emerging trends with the forthcoming policy agenda”.

The Scientific Advisory Board was created in September 2013 at the request of the UN Secretary-General to further inform the debate on sustainable development. The Board is composed of 26 eminent scientists representing all regions and a wide range of scientific disciplines relevant for sustainable development spanning ocean, climate and biodiversity research to engineering through political and social sciences. In addition, all members of the SAB have extensive experience in international scientific cooperation and in the interface between science policy and society.

Board members are appointed in their personal capacity, and not as representatives of their respective States or of any other entities with which they may be affiliated. They serve on a pro bono basis for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for one subsequent two-year term at the discretion of the UN Secretary-General.

UNESCO hosts the secretariat of the Board.

 

A press conference will be held ahead of the meeting on 13 December at 6 pm at the Hotel Ambassador, St. Petersburg.
Journalists wishing to cover the event or the press-conference must seek accreditation, please contact:

  • Vladimir Alexandrovich Cherepanov
  • Nikolay Viktorovitch Khaustov
    Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO
    sabrus.press(at)yahoo.com    
  • Isabelle Brugnon
    Natural Sciences Sector, UNESCO
    i.brugnon(at)unesco.org, tel: +33(0)145684068 (until 11 December) or + 7 921 797 96 37 (12-17 December)
  • Victoria Kalinin
    Department of Public Information, UNESCO
    v.kalinin(at)unesco.org, tel: +33(0)1 45 68 18 46

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