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22.06.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

UN Secretary-General calls on UNESCO to play leading role in the implementation of the science recommendations of the Global Sustainability Panel Report

On 21 June at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) taking place in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, representatives of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) presented the GSP report. The report, entitled “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing”, presents a vision for a sustainable future for the planet.

The vision aims to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, make growth inclusive, and production and consumption more sustainable, while combating climate change and respecting a range of other planetary boundaries.

The report contains numerous recommendations aimed at putting sustainable development into practice. The Secretary-General tasked Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, the UN specialized agency with a mandate for science, to take the lead on following up on the science-related recommendations of the report.

As a first step in this process, Ms Bokova assembled an ad hoc group of UN agencies with substantive science activities in their portfolios and leaders of major international scientific bodies. The Ad Hoc Group was charged with addressing the science-related recommendations of the report.

As a result of the advice provided to him, the Secretary-General decided to set up a Scientific Advisory Board, bringing together eminent specialists from natural sciences, social and human sciences, and engineering, and from diverse backgrounds and regions. Through this mechanism, the Secretary-General and UN agencies will be provided with comprehensive advice on all of the dimensions of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development, as well as on how to promote cooperation among various UN agencies and with the international scientific community.

It is important that advice to the Secretary-General on science recommendations of the GSP report span a broad spectrum, from the basic sciences, through engineering and technology, incorporating also health sciences, agricultural sciences, human and social sciences, in addition to environmental sciences” – said Ms. Bokova. The Scientific Advisory Board will draw on the wealth of expertise from the UN system and from major international scientific organizations.

The Secretary-General requested UNESCO to take the lead in setting up, and in providing the secretariat for this Scientific Advisory Board.

UNESCO commits itself to be fully engaged, in collaboration with other partners, in taking forward the recommendations of the GSP, in service to our member states and to the broader society.

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