Our work at the UN and global policy processes

The International Science Council works at the intersection of science and policy, to ensure that science is integrated into international policy development and that relevant policies take into account both scientific knowledge and the needs of science.

Our work at the UN and global policy processes

The nature of our work

Drawing on its diverse networks of Members, Affiliated Bodies and partners, the Council’s work on science for policy focuses on three areas:

Much of the ISC’s work on science for policy takes place at the international level, working with the United Nations (UN), predominantly through the ‘Major Groups’ model of participation, in which the ISC works as organizing partner for the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group.

Beyond the Major Group, the Council’s ambition is to become the go-to organization for scientific expertise and advice at the global level. The ISC strategy in the intergovernmental system report examines this objective and makes recommendations to the ISC on its strategy.

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

Please note that the ‘Science Summit at the UN General Assembly’ in September 2023 is not an event of the International Science Council. The International Science Council has no association with this event nor with the organizer of the event.

Latest updates

The International Science Council at the 2023 SDG Summit

Discover our our activities at the SDG Action Weekend and the 2023 SDG Summit which aim to mark the beginning of a new phase of accelerated progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals with high-level political guidance on transformative and accelerated actions leading up to 2030.

The ISC addresses the UN High Level Political Forum and meets with the UN Secretary General

An ISC delegation met with Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, on Tuesday 18 July during the High-Level Political Forum. The delegation discussed the Group of Friends on Science for Action at the UN, the Secretary General’s science advisory mechanism and topics such as the ISC’s response to the COVID pandemic and the need for robust science advisory mechanisms at the Member State level.

The ISC at the HLPF 2023

Discover our activities at the Forum, mobilizing evidence-based, politically independent, and actionable scientific guidance. Meet our delegation, join us for Science Day, our side-events, and read the statement by ISC Fellows here.

Podcast: ISC CEO Salvatore Aricò on science advice at the United Nations

How might the future of science advice look at the global level? Will the establishment of a UN Group of Friends on Science for Action be the catalyst that elevates science advice to the highest levels of multilateral decision-making, and how will this complement the Secretary-General’s renewed scientific advisory board? And what should the role of the international science community be?

UN Group of Friends to champion Science for Action

A coalition of countries supporting science and actionable knowledge is being set up to provide an important and complementary impetus to ongoing efforts to build a stronger role of science in decision-making at the global level led by Belgium, India and South Africa.

Our work with UNEP on Strategic Foresight

The International Science Council (ISC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have partnered to advance science-based strategic foresight to develop futures thinking, be better prepared to engage with challenges proactively, and to inform and guide decisions for the benefit of the global environment.

The International Science Council at the UN 2023 Water Conference

Browse our different engagements for the UN 2023 Water Conference, including our Policy Brief providing actionable and science-based solutions for policy- and decision-makers to address different types of water-related challenges, our statements at the conference, our blog series, and our side-events.

Key partnerships

To achieve its goals, the ISC is actively cooperating with partners from the United Nations system, having Memoranda of Understanding with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations University (UNU), UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN Habitat).

In addition, the Council has active collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Through these agreements, the ISC works to strengthen the use of scientific evidence in policy and public action on the most pressing issues facing societies today.

Our work by theme

Meet the ISC Global Science Policy Unit

Mobilizing scientific and policy expertise in the UN and intergovernmental processes

Anne-Sophie Stevance

Senior Science Officer, Head of Unit

Anda Popovici

Science Officer

Photo of James Waddell

James Waddell

Science & Communications Officer

Anthony (Bud) Rock

Senior Advisor

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