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.

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

  • providing scientific advice, coordinating and facilitating the participation of scientists in policy processes and international conferences
  • providing advice on how policy processes should be created or modified to best receive and utilise available scientific knowledge
  • creating scientific research programmes that will improve collaboration between scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders in the generation of scientific knowledge

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

A pivotal year for global policy: the ISC’s involvement with the UN in 2023

Take a look at the ISC’s plans with the United Nations for 2023, including the upcoming Mid-term Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, strategic foresight with UNEP, addressing youth mental health with WHO, supporting the development of an international Plastic Pollution Treaty, preparing for the UN Water Conference and ongoing work on the Sustainable Development Goals.

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), 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 United Nations University (UNU), 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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