The International Science Council at the UN Summit of the Future

Discover the ISC’s involvement in the UN Summit of the Future, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance multilateral cooperation on critical challenges and move towards a reinvigorated UN system that is better positioned to positively impact people’s lives.
The International Science Council at the UN Summit of the Future

About the Summit of the Future

The world is off-track to deliver on the aspirations and goals embodied in major global agreements, from the 2030 Agenda to the Paris Agreement. Faced with challenges of extreme poverty, hunger, displacement, inequalities, health crises, violent conflict, and risks associated with new technologies, the multilateral system must be made fit-for-purpose in an era of rapid change and polycrisis. We need a new way forward to address current and emerging challenges, ensuring no one is left behind.

In the words of the UN, the Summit of the Future is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to do precisely this. The Summit aims to bring world leaders together to change the way countries work together to build a better world today and safeguard tomorrow for future generations.

The Summit’s ambitious aims include reaffirming the UN Charter, reinvigorating multilateralism, boosting implementation of existing commitments, agreeing on solutions to new challenges, and restoring trust in multilateralism and in one another. The primary outcome of the Summit is expected to be an intergovernmentally-negotiated Pact for the Future, which aims to accelerate efforts to meet existing international commitments and to reflect concrete steps toward addressing emerging challenges and opportunities.

About the International Science Council

The ISC convenes the scientific expertise and resources needed to lead on catalysing, incubating and coordinating impactful international action on issues of major scientific and public importance.

At the UN level, the ISC is a trusted knowledge broker and science adviser, mobilizing its unique global membership of over 250 scientific organizations to convene and deliver robust, inclusive, interdisciplinary science advice on the most pressing issues of our time. The ISC works with Member States, UN organizations, and UN leaders through a variety of partnerships and ad-hoc collaborations, to ensure that science is integrated into international policy development and multilateral initiatives, and that relevant policies take into account both scientific knowledge and the needs of science.

The ISC also serves as co-coordinator of the Scientific & Technological Community Major Group, as member of the network of scientific institutions associated with the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board, and as secretariat, jointly with UNESCO, for the Group of Friends on Science for Action.

The ISC and the Pact for the Future

The ISC is committed to supporting Member States to deliver an effective, action-oriented and impactful Pact bringing about positive change for both people and the planet, firmly grounded in the latest and best available scientific knowledge.

The ISC, in its capacity as joint secretariat together with UNESCO for the Group of Friends on Science for Action, also supported written and oral inputs from the Group of Friends to the zero draft of the Pact for the Future (December 2023).

The ISC and the UN Civil Society Conference

As coordinator of the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group, the ISC will attend the UN Civil Society Conference, providing an opportunity for multi-stakeholder engagement ahead of the Summit of the Future and a venue for civil society actors, scientists and other relevant stakeholders to participate and contribute to the preparations process and ongoing Pact for the Future negotiations. The Conference will take place on 9 to 10 May in Nairobi, Kenya.

The ISC is actively mobilizing and engaging its African membership in this UN gathering to ensure the representation of regional perspectives and the valuable contributions of African scientists in the ongoing global negotiation for the development of a new Pact for the Future.

The ISC at the Summit of the Future

The ISC is working in collaboration with several UN organizations, NGOs, and Member States to organize science-policy side events for the Action Day that is expected to be organized ahead of the Summit of the Future, on 21 September 2024.

More information coming soon…


Morgan Seag

ISC Liaison to the UN System
Global Science Policy Unit

Image by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash.

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