The ISC in global policy and the United Nations

The Council’s ambition is to become the ‘go-to’ organization for scientific expertise and advice at the global level. By working at the intersection of science and policy, the ISC reaches multiple policy communities, striving to ensure that science is integrated into decision-making and implementation at national, regional and global scales.

In 2022, the ISC made significant progress in its objective to engage with the intergovernmental system, enhance the impact of the Council, and strengthen the use of scientific evidence in policy and public action on the most pressing issues faced by societies today.

Notably, the ISC is actively cooperating with the United Nations system through engagement in numerous multilateral processes, such as the annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum), the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention on Biological Diversity, co-organized with the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat and other partners of the Fifth Science–Policy Forum on Biodiversity held at COP15.

The ISC also has several formal agreements with United Nations organizations including:

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • The World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.
  • The United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN Habitat).

In addition, the Council collaborates actively with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the United Nations University (UNU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the United Nations Regional Economic Commissions.

In this section:

The ISC and the Sustainable Development Goals

The ISC has been continuously pushing for a sound scientific basis and strong role of science in the implementation of the SDGs. As coordinator of the Science and Technological Community Major Group for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ISC actively mobilizes the latest scientific evidence and thinking from its membership and research networks, notably through annual position papers and engagement in key gatherings such as the STI Forum and the HLPF, to support the implementation of the SDG agenda.

Read more

The ISC and the World Health Organization

In October 2022, the ISC and WHO signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ensure mutual scientific cooperation aimed at promoting and achieving healthier lives and wellbeing for all. The agreement will enhance the contribution of science to global health and sustainable development, facilitate the mobilization of scientific expertise, and strengthen science–policy interfaces relevant to health.

Read more

The ISC and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

In 2022, the ISC pursued its long-standing role in fostering international research on disaster risk reduction (DRR), working in close collaboration with the UNDRR, and driving expertise in the field through several policy briefs and active engagement at key events of the DDR global agenda.

Read more

The ISC and the United Nations Environment Programme

In December 2022, the ISC signed an MoU with UNEP in order to cooperate more closely on strengthening the capacity of science – including data, engineering, and the social and behavioural sciences – to achieve common objectives aimed at living sustainably within planetary boundaries.

Read more

ISC presence in New York formally established

A senior special advisor, Anthony Rock, was appointed to represent the ISC within multilateral institutions based in New York. This presence will provide strategic advice and support in implementing an organization-wide effort to further strengthen the profile of the ISC within the UN system and its member states as the go-to organization for scientific input and advice.

Read more


Skip to content