9 January 2023
Dear friends and colleagues,
I hope that you have had a peaceful start to 2023.
As we approach the mid-term for the current Governing Board, and with incoming CEO Salvatore Aricò starting at the beginning of January, this is going to be a significant year for the Council, with a number of organizational changes that will allow us to better respond to the evolving science system and context.
I invite you to join me for the first quarterly President’s meeting with ISC Members on 25 and 26 January 2023 (for different time zones). This will be our first time to meet in the new year, and will provide an opportunity to start preparing for two important events taking place in May: the extraordinary electronic General Assembly on 4 May 2023, and an in-person Members’ meeting on 10-12 May in Paris, France. We have listened to requests from ISC Members for an opportunity to meet, and this in-person event is expected to help strengthen relationships between Members and to build momentum around the Council’s strategic priorities. While we have all adapted to meeting virtually in recent years, the World Science Forum and Global Knowledge Dialogue held in December served as a reminder of the benefits of meeting in-person. Together with staff from the Council, we re-connected with Member representatives based in Africa and around the world who were attending the Forum in Cape Town, and made many new contacts, helping to strengthen the ISC’s networks and raising awareness of its work. I hope you will be able to join the May meeting and ask you to provide a non-binding indication of attendance through the form here.
A new year is also an opportunity to look ahead to the events likely to shape our work over the next twelve months.
Of course, we must hope for peace in Ukraine and in other areas affected by war and conflict around the world. In 2022 the ISC was active in advocating for and disseminating opportunities for scientists in Ukraine, who had been affected by the war, to continue their research. Our working group on responses to the conflict continues to meet and there will be a second conference on responses from the science community on 20-21 March 2023.
The first global stocktake of progress on the Paris Agreement will report towards the end of the year, and recommendations on implementation of a fund for loss and damage will be made at COP28 at the end of November. The ISC will continue to mobilize the global scientific community to contribute to assessments of progress on environment and climate change, and to advocate for game-changing collective action to fund science missions for sustainability through the Global Commission.
As responses to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve in societies around the world, the ISC will launch a second and updated addition to the COVID-19 Report launched in 2022. The second edition focuses on Part 2 of the original report, its lessons and recommendations. We have used the opportunity to update developments in the pandemic and the geo-politics surrounding it, and aim to send hard copies to Members to encourage them to share its findings with key stakeholders.
And the Council’s work with the UN Development Programme on the Future of Human Development will move into a new phase, bringing together expertise on indicators for human development.
As always, you can find out the latest on the Council’s activities on this website and by subscribing to the Council’s monthly newsletter. I look forward to being in touch with you soon.
Image by Matthew Jordaan / International Science Council