The ISC, together with the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), is a co-organizing partner of the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group at the United Nations. In this role, we secure a mandate for science at the UN and integrate science in major global policy processes, such as the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda.

The Scientific and Technological (STC) Major Group provides governments, policy makers and society the understanding of the limitations and parameters imposed by the laws of Nature and indicates what is scientifically and technologically achievable based on what we know now and on what we can do with the knowledge and technological tools we have in hand – including those being developed with potential success.

Progress in all topical areas of the sustainable development debate requires substantial innovative advances in science and technology and a thorough analysis of the feasibility of proposed solutions. By exchanging and applying scientific knowledge, the creativity and practice of engineering and technology, the STC Major Group is able to introduce feasible sustainable solutions in most areas of activity that contribute to increasing quality of life.

What is a Major Group?

The concept of “Major Group” was formalized by Agenda 21, the outcome document of the 1992 Rio Summit. The document identified nine sectors of civil society as the main channels through which groups of citizens can organize, and can contribute to policy and implementation of international efforts to achieve sustainable development. The sectors recognized are:
(i) Women
(ii) Children and Youth
(iii) Indigenous People
(iv) Non-governmental Organizations
(v) Local Authorities
(vi) Workers and Trade Unions
(vii) Business and Industry
(viii) Scientific and Technological Community
(ix) Farmers.  

Today, within the context of Agenda 2030, more sectors are represented within the category of “Other Stakeholders”, such as Persons with Disabilities, Aging, Volunteers and Education and Academia.

The Major Group system is a participatory mechanism that has been mainly employed in stakeholder engagement for sustainable development, for example at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and its successor the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) for Sustainable Development. This stakeholder engagement approach is also utilized in other UN processes, such as through the Major Groups and other Stakeholders for UN Environment; United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Constituencies; and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction Stakeholders Group.

How does the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group operate?

The group fulfils the functions described above by:

  • Soliciting and gathering input from subject matter experts and regional groups, as well as individual partner organizations and international research programmes, to ensure that all relevant scientific knowledge is made available to support policy formulation and implementation;
  • Providing scientific input through position papers, policy briefs, written and oral contributions;
  • Liaising with the UN Secretariat and responding to UN calls for experts on topics related to sustainable development;
  • Facilitating the participation of scientists – in accordance with UN rules in terms of attendance – and providing them with speaking opportunities (e.g. delivering statements on behalf of the STC MG and/or speaking at side events, roundtables etc.) at the HLPF;
  • Organizing side events, roundtables and workshops jointly with the scientific community;
  • Sharing relevant information on UN sustainable development fora and related Major Groups activities with the community through newsletters, social media and ISC/WFEO websites.

Who is currently part of the network?

The Major Group draws its expertise from the vast membership of ISC and WFEO, which spans the natural and social sciences and engineering. It also mobilizes scientific expertise from international research programmes such as Future Earth, Urban Health and Wellbeing, and Integrated Research on Disaster Risk. We also engage with individual scientists on specific sustainable development-related matters.

Statements

Date Statement Meeting
July 2020Scientific and Technological CommunityHigh-level Political Forum 2020
12 July 2019Scientific and Technological CommunityHigh-level Political Forum 2019
9 July 2019Scientific and Technological CommunityHigh-level Political Forum 2019
11 July 2018Scientific and Technological CommunityHigh-level Political Forum 2018
14 Jul 2017 Scientific and Technological Community (STC)
12 Jul 2017 Scientific and Technological Community (STC)
7 Jun 2017 Major Group: Science and Technology
15 Feb 2017 Major Group: Science and Industry Preparatory Meeting for the Ocean Conference
20 May 2015 Major Group: Science & Technology Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations (Follow-up and review)
23 Apr 2015 Major Group: Science & Technology Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations (Means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development)
19 Feb 2015 Major Group: Science & Technological Community Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations (Declaration session)
21 Jan 2015 Major Group: Science & Technological Community Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations (Stocktaking session)
16 Jan 2015 Major Group: Science & Technological Community Stakeholder Preparatory Forum for the Post-2015 Development Agenda Negotiations
3 Sep 2014 Major Groups: Science and Technology Plenary PM Session Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States
1 Jul 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology 1 July 2014 High-level Political Forum 2014
30 Jun 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology 30 June 2014 High-level Political Forum 2014
26 Jun 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology 2nd Preparatory Committee Meeting on Sustainable Development of SIDS through Genuine and Durable Partnership
18 Jun 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology Twelfth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
7 May 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology Eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
7 May 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology Eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
5 May 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology Constituency-Based Intervention Eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
4 Feb 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology Eighth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
4 Feb 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology Statement on Biodiversity Eighth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
3 Feb 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology Eighth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
3 Feb 2014 Major Group: Science & Technology Statement on Oceans & Seas Eighth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
26 Nov 2013 Major Group: Science & Technology Fifth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
25 Nov 2013 Major Group: Science & Technology Fifth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
20 Jun 2012 Science & Technology Rio+20;
20 Jun 2012 WFEO statements at Rio+20 Conference Rio+20;
20 Jun 2012 Scientific and Technological Community Major Group for Rio+20 and post-Rio+20 processes Rio+20;
20 Jun 2012 Foundations of Human Wellbeing: Social, Environmental, Economic Rio+20;
30 Apr 2012 Major Group: Science & Technology Meeting of the UNCSD Bureau with Member States and Major Groups
15 Dec 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology 2nd Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD, UN Secretariat
13 May 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19;
12 May 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19;
11 May 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19;
11 May 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19;
7 May 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology 2nd Preparatory Committee Meeting UN Conference on Sustainable Development
2 May 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19;
7 Mar 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology 2nd Preparatory Committee Meeting UN Conference on Sustainable Development
4 Mar 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
4 Mar 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
2 Mar 2011 Major Group: Science and Technology CSD-19 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
1 Mar 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
1 Mar 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-19 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
11 Jan 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology 1st Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD, UN Secretariat
11 Jan 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology Distributed only 1st Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD, UN Secretariat
10 Jan 2011 Major Group: Science & Technology Distributed only 1st Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD, UN Secretariat
19 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology 1st Preparatory Committee Meeting UN Conference on Sustainable Development
17 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology 1st Preparatory Committee Meeting UN Conference on Sustainable Development
14 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
14 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
13 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
13 May 2010 Major Group: Scientific & Technological CSD-18;
11 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
7 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
5 May 2010 Major Group: Scientific & Technological Community CSD-18;
5 May 2010 Major Group: Science and Technology CSD-18;
5 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
3 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
3 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
3 May 2010 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-18;
15 May 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17;
12 May 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17;
4 May 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17;
27 Feb 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
26 Feb 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
26 Feb 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
25 Feb 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
25 Feb 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
24 Feb 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
24 Feb 2009 Major Group: Workers & Trade CSD-17 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
23 Feb 2009 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-17 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
16 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
15 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
14 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
12 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
9 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
9 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
8 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
7 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
6 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
6 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
5 May 2008 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-16;
11 May 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15;
2 May 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15;
1 May 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15;
1 May 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15;
30 Apr 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15;
30 Apr 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15;
2 Mar 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
28 Feb 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
28 Feb 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
27 Feb 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
27 Feb 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
26 Feb 2007 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-15 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
12 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
11 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
8 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
5 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
5 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
3 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
3 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
3 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
2 May 2006 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-14;
22 Apr 2005 Major Group: Science & Technolgy CSD-13;
21 Apr 2005 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-13;
13 Apr 2005 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-13;
4 Mar 2005 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-13 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
2 Mar 2005 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-13 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
29 Apr 2004 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-12;
23 Apr 2004 Major Group: Science & Technology CSD-12;

Newsletter and Twitter

For the latest updates, follow the STC MG on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletters using the form below.


Subscribe to our newsletters

Which newsletter(s) would you like to receive?
  • 🌟 ISC MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
Data Use Permissions *


View past newsletters


Find out more

To find out more about the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group and to get involved, please contact Anda Popovici (anda.popovici@council.science).


UN-related Events

Find all UN-related events and special dates here

Share: