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Scientific review of the first-order draft of the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report completed

An update on the ISC-led scientific review of the forthcoming 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR).

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) invited the International Science Council to lead the scientific review of the embargoed first draft of the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). The GSDR is expected to be published by September 2023 as the main instrument to inform the deliberations of the second SDG Summit – the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development under the auspices of the UN General Assembly – and plays a major role in reviewing existing knowledge to provide evidence-based guidance on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The review process had three main objectives:

  • ensure that the report addresses the main issues relevant to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda;
  • ensure that the report is informed by balanced contributions across disciplines, and
  • ensure that the report’s findings reflect the global scientific consensus from the scientific and technological community on the challenges and pathways to achieve the SDGs.

Following an open call for nominations of experts by ISC Members and partners including the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, the Global Young Academy, the InterAcademy Partnership, and the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences, nominations of over 160 experts were received to review the first-order draft. The ISC established a 15-member working group to advise on the review process, review the GSDR, and synthesize comments from the larger pool of reviewers. The review took place in September 2022 and comments from 104 reviewers were received across all regions: Africa (18%), Asia Pacific (29%), Europe (34%), Latin America and Caribbean (8%), Middle East and North Africa (6%), North America (6%).

The review led to the production of two outputs intended for UN DESA and the Independent Group of Scientists leading the development of the report, namely a table with all comments submitted on the report, and a synthesis report summarizing the main comments prepared by the ISC working group.

Further regional consultations with stakeholders are taking place over November-December. A near-final draft of the GSDR is expected to be made public in March 2023 and the report to be launched at the SDG Summit in September 2023.

Composition of the ISC working group for the review of the draft 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report

  • Sherilee Harper (chair), Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and Health and Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta ;
  • Julius Atlhopheng, Chairman of the University of Botswana SDGs Hub;
  • Kathryn Bowen, Deputy Director, Melbourne Climate Futures and Professor of Environment, Climate & Global Health, University of Melbourne;
  • Susan Clayton, Professor of Psychology, The College of Wooster;
  • Nicolas Duvoux, Professor of Sociology, Université Paris 8;
  • Caroline Gevaert, Assistant Professor, University of Twente;
  • Quentin Grafton, Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University;
  • Gensuo Jia, Professor, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Director of CAS Global Change Research Center for East Asia;
  • Raphael Kaplinsky, Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Development Studies;
  • Monica Kerretts-Makau, Academic Director, Thunderbird’s Center for Excellence for Africa and Professor of Practice;
  • Tonni Agustiono Kurniawan, Associate Professor, Xiamen University China;
  • Shunsuke Managi, Distinguished Professor of Technology and Policy and Director of the Urban Institute, Kyushu University;
  • Michell Mycoo, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of the West Indies;
  • Ramón Pichs-Madruga, Director of the Center for World Economy Studies (CIEM) and Vice Chair of IPCC Working Group III;
  • Nico Schrijver, Professor Emeritus of Public International Law, Leiden University;
  • Laura Zimmermann, Associate Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia.

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Image by photothek/Ina Fassbender via Flickr.

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