ISC strategy in the intergovernmental system

The challenges on the multilateral agenda are complex, urgent, have a degree of uncertainty and are inextricably linked. In this context, the ambition of the ISC to become the go-to organization for scientific expertise and advice at the global level raises key questions for the organization. This report examines these key questions, and makes recommendations to the ISC on its strategy in the intergovernmental system.

A Steering Group was mandated in March 2021, chaired by Julia Marton-Lefèvre, to propose a strategy for the ISC to engage with the intergovernmental system that enhances the impact of the Council to strengthen the voice of science in global policy processes.

The Report makes 13 recommendations for the ISC moving forward:

1.Map the competences and expertise of the ISC membership, secretariat and affiliated bodies

2. Invest in an ambitious capacity building programme on communication and brokerage for ISC members

3. Partner with other organizations to perform the function of a trusted source of scientific advice

4. Engage in existing intergovernmental scientific mechanisms

5. Strengthen connections of scientists operating in their national context with global processes

6. Encourage the creation of a coalition of countries to champion science for decision-making

7. Support the re-establishment of the Scientific Advisory Board to the UN Secretary-General

8. Seek Permanent Observer status to the UN General Assembly

9. Set up a liaison function in New York

10. Establish a group of ISC Ambassadors

11. Strengthen the public understanding of the scientific process

12. Develop regular engagement with scientific and mainstream media

13. Support the recognition and raise the profile of transdisciplinary science

Among the proposed next steps for the ISC, the Steering Committee suggests that the ISC conducts a thorough assessment of the interests of the intergovernmental system to work with the ISC and the needs to be addressed. The Steering Committee also suggested that the ISC should discuss the above recommendations with current and potential new partners within the intergovernmental system.

Following a number of feedback processes between the Governing Board and the ISC’s membership, the 2021 General Assembly adopted a resolution in support of the Report’s recommendations, also requesting the Governing Board to draft the ISC strategy in line with the recommendations and next steps suggested in the Report.

flag poles and rainbow ribbons

ISC strategy in the intergovernmental system

This report makes recommendations to the ISC on its strategy in the intergovernmental system.

DOI: 10.24849/2021.11

See the Nature editorial citing the ISC’s Strategy in the intergovernmental system

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Schwarz. J Daniel on Unsplash

Composite by Mr Clinton

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