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:
(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
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.
Newsletter and Twitter
For the latest updates, follow the STC MG on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletters using the form above.
View past newsletters
- 8 November 2022: Science at COP27
- 13 September 2022: UN General Assembly: “A watershed moment for transformations”
- 13 April 2022: Input invited on position paper from the Science and Technological Community Major Group
- 23 September 2021: New report: Unleashing Science – Delivering Missions for Sustainability
- 16 September 2021: 🔔 76th UN General Assembly, 2023 GSDR call for inputs and other science-related updates
- 1 July 2021: Key side-events and updates for the 2021 HLPF
- 17 June 2021: Getting ready for the High-Level Political Forum + other news
- 22 April 2021: 🔔 Request for inputs – HLPF 2021 position paper
- 30 March 2021: 📨 Latest from the Scientific and Technological community
- 29 January 2021: 📨 Latest from the Scientific and Technological community
- 14 December 2020: 📨 End-of-year updates from the Scientific and Technological Community
- 6 October 2020: Updates for the Science and Technology community from the 75th UN General Assembly
- 14 September 2020: Key events for the Science and Technology community at the 75th UN General Assembly
- 20 July 2020: ⭐ Highlights: 2020 virtual High-level Political Forum
- 2 July 2020: Essential science-related events and reading ahead of the 2020 virtual High-level Political Forum
- 25 May 2020: May 2020: HLPF, upcoming events and key deadlines
- January 2020: 2020 Updates: HLPF, upcoming events and key deadlines
- September 2019: Civil Society Organization Forum Registration
- 11 July 2019: Latest updates from the ISC at the HLPF
- July 2019: SDG Summit registration and related events
- Science X HLPF 1: 5 June 2018
- Science X HLPF 2: 21 June 2018
- Science X HLPF 3: 11 July 2018
- Science X HLPF 4: 12 July 2018
- Science X HLPF 5: 13 July 2018
- Science X HLPF 6: 16 July 2018
- Science X HLPF 7: 17 July 2018
- Science X HLPF 8: 19 July 2018
Find out more
To find out more about the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group and to get involved, please contact Anda Popovici (email@example.com).
Find all UN-related events and special dates here