Building peace in the minds of men and women

Leading scientists to identify top 8 challenges to future of humanity



Twenty-six of the world’s leading scientists will define the 8 top challenges to future of human survival during the 3rd meeting of the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board 25-26 May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Board will also offer recommendations on a range of topics, including the global data revolution, improving the science / policy interface, and the foremost risks to humanity associated with climate change.

Recommendations to inform and advance sustainable development and poverty eradication worldwide are expected to include how to coordinate global data collection and create access that reduces the data divide between rich and poor; and improving the use of scientific knowledge in policy-making at all levels.

Advice on the potentially profound climate change-related risks will be agreed during the meeting and published shortly thereafter.

The central function of the Board is to advise the UN Secretary-General and decision makers on science, technology and innovation (STI) for sustainable development and to inform the post-2015 development process.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Education Minister and Deputy PM of Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin, will address the group May 26 during a public welcoming session (10.45 am to 11.45am, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur). The public segment will conclude with a Q&A session with members of the Board.

Convened by Prof. Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the meeting is hosted by the Malaysian Government and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT). The two-day meeting will be co-chaired by Drs. Bokova and Zakri.

Scientific Advisory Board of the United Nations Secretary-General

The Scientific Advisory Board was created in 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 many scientific disciplines relevant for sustainable development: the engineering, political and natural sciences are represented as well as for example oceanic, climate and biodiversity research. In addition, all members of the SAB have extensive and manifold experience with international scientific cooperation as well as the science-policy-society interface.

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 will 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.


Journalists wishing to cover the event require accreditation, please contact:


Mastura Ishak, MIGHT, tel. +60 14 6651 303 for accreditation


Isabelle Brugnon, UNESCO,, tel. +33 (0) 6 80 24 13 56