At High-Level Political Forum, Director-General moderates an interactive discussion on prospects for the future
On 20 July UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, moderated a lively panel discussion on “Prospects for the future – projects, scenarios and new and emerging issues” held within the framework of the United Nations high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
“The 2030 Agenda will shape the world for the generations to come, ushering in a new era for sustainable development, bringing nothing short of a paradigm shift on so many levels,” said the Director-General. “It overcomes the North-South dichotomy, and puts collaboration at its centre, based on the diversity of experience of each country; country experiences which have been the key focus of the Voluntary National Reviews at this session of HLPF.”
“The 2030 Agenda bears witness to the new role of science, technology and innovation in all development issues,” she said in opening the debate, "not only for achieving all Sustainable Development Goals, but also to help bringing together the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement for Climate Change". She highlighted the importance of scientific research, effective science-policy interface, and technology sharing and transfer to enable access for all to the best solutions at hand.
The panel brought together eminent policy makers, scientists, futurists, and civil society representatives to discuss future visions and projections on how the world in 2030 will differ from today, based on available data and evidence, and what it will take to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring that truly no one is left behind.
In his intervention, H.E. Mr Simon Gaviria, Minister for National Planning of Colombia, underlined the urgent need to craft policies that are context-specific, and sensitive to inequalities and disparities. "In going forward", H.E. Dr. Edgar Gutierrez-Espeleta, President of the second session of the UN Environment Assembly and Minister for Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, argued, "we must acknowledge in much clearer terms the interconnectedness of the issues at hand; environment, human rights, climate change challenges, need to be approached in a comprehensive manner if we are to succeed."
Prof. Dr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria, presented several scenarios for sustainable change needed to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. Prof. Dr. Stewart Lockie, Director of the Cairns Institute at James Cook University, Australia, urged on Member States to invest more broadly in scientific research, harnessing the contribution of natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences alike.
Prof. Dr. Fumiko Kasuga, Future Earth Global Hub Director and Senior Fellow of the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan, highlighted the important role and contribution of multidisciplinary scientific programmes in tacking future challenges. She proposed that a regular session on emerging issues be included at every High-Level Political Forum.
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