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Charting a New Course: Science Day to Pioneer Evidence-Based Strategies for SDG Acceleration at the HLPF 2023

As we increasingly recognize we are falling behind in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must ask ourselves: how will we define success for the 2030 Agenda? Recognizing this pressing need for accelerated progress, Science Day is set to take place within the framework of the 2023 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Saturday 15 July.

The International Science Council (ISC), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) are joining forces at the upcoming 2023 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) to host Science Day. This special event, taking place on Saturday 15 July, aims to focus on evidence-based strategies to fast-track the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Under the theme “Evidence-Based Strategies for SDG Acceleration”, Science Day will serve as a platform for decision-makers, scientists, and stakeholders to gather and exchange views on effective strategies rooted in evidence to accelerate SDG implementation. This event provides an opportunity to showcase significant scientific findings, methodologies, and tools that support evidence-based decision-making for the SDGs.

Experts will focus on identifying science-based transformation points aligned with the Global Sustainable Development Report’s six transformations, offering both short-term and long-term impact. Participants will discuss progress made thus far and address areas that require improvement, such as budgeting, international cooperation, and accountability. The expected outcome of Science Day is a call to action for the 2023 HLPF and the upcoming September SDG Summit. It aims to inspire decision-makers to prioritize evidence-based, strategic, and effective actions to accelerate SDG implementation.

Join us for the live broadcast on 15 July:

Science Day – Evidence-based strategies for SDG acceleration

Science Day aims to address lagging progress in achieving the SDGs, providing an informal platform within the High-Level Political Forum for decision-makers, scientists, and other stakeholders to exchange views and strategies.

Watch live here on 15 July at 9:00 EST / 14:00 EDT

Science Day will be held in a hybrid format, allowing participants to engage both online and in-person. The opening and the first panel discussion will be accessible online, providing a global audience with the opportunity to join the event remotely.

“Happy to see a deepening conversation between policy-makers, scientists, and stakeholders at the upcoming #ScienceDay to ensure the acceleration of SDG implementation. By incorporating science into our thinking, we can create a shared knowledge base and move from fragile to agile”, expresses H.E. Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th UN General Assembly.

Policy coherence will be highlighted as a means to enhance SDG effectiveness, with a focus on managing inequality and incorporating policy instruments that account for trade-offs and goal conflicts. The integration of systems thinking and foresight methods will also be underscored as essential tools for decision-making in SDG implementation. These approaches aid in identifying and mitigating bottlenecks and spillover effects, leading to more successful sustainable development outcomes.

“We have less than half the time left to implement the SDGs; we need to move faster but in a strategic way. Science Day will offer a space for the science community to share ideas on how evidence can support better decision-making towards our 2030 deadline”, emphasizes Åsa Persson, Head of Research and Deputy Director of SEI.

An essential aspect that will be discussed during Science Day is the significance of implementation science – the scientific study of methods and strategies that facilitate the uptake of evidence-based practice and research into regular use by practitioners and policy-makers. By incorporating evidence-based reviews and policy advice, implementation science guides policy planning, implementation, and adaptive governance, driving progress towards the SDGs.

Sir Peter Gluckman, President of the International Science Council, highlights the critical role of science in policy-making, stating, “The broad range of natural, social, data, and engineering sciences are critical to progress on every aspect of the SDGs. Science informs what we know and do not know, assessments of pathways forward, and provides options to policy-makers and society so they can make better and evidence-informed decisions. Actionable knowledge must be the essential catalyst that shows us the path towards a brighter and more sustainable future”.

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The International Science Council at the HLPF 2023

Discover how the ISC is involved in the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2023, an international conference to discuss effective and inclusive recovery measures to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and explore actionable policy guidance for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs at all levels.

“To accelerate SDG achievement in the next seven years, science-based solutions and transformations are more important than ever. Science Day 2023 is an opportunity for stakeholders to convene and share evidence-based interventions to chart a path forward to achieve the SDGs and ensure no one is left behind”, remarks Maria Cortes-Puch, Vice President of the Networks Program at SDSN.

“The 2030 Agenda was envisioned as a platform for chanelling infinite human capacities to create a better world for present and future generations. As in past times of crisis, human initiative and ingenuity are the only ways forward. This is where science comes in. Science, technology, and innovation provide the bedrock of the progress we need to achieve the SDGs”, highlights Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs at UNDESA.

As Science Day approaches, it promises to be a significant event that brings together experts and stakeholders committed to accelerating SDG implementation. By harnessing the power of evidence-based strategies and scientific research, the path to achieving the SDGs becomes clearer, paving the way for a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.

Image by Brian McMahon on Unsplash.

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