SDGs and the Science-Policy Interface

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This session, organized to strengthen the Science-Policy Interface, brought together experts from within the scientific community to contribute new ideas and solutions to achieve the SDGs. H.E. Mr. Hector, opened the session by remarking that while Science, Technology and Innovation has reshaped our world and has solved grave humanitarian problems, it is nonetheless marred by many challenges.

Mr. Wu Hongbo presented the 2016 pilot Global Sustainable Development Report with the recurring theme “leaving no one behind”. He also added that other chapters in the report provide highlights of the various impacts the delivery of nexus infrastructure and cross cutting dimensions of technology. He concluded that the report underscore the importance of preserving a window in science and policy which needed to inform the implementation of the 2030 agenda.

Ms. Lucilla Spini took a different approach to channel the discussion on power, focusing on how the SDGs and conscience policy can help us make informed decisions. She reiterated that power is what enables decision makers to ensure that no one is left behind.

The panelists during the discussion provided some important new ideas, scientific insights and technological solutions proposed for policy considerations and the gaps that need to be filled to achieve SDGs. The panelists also discussed the role of the GSDR in further strengthening the science-policy interface.

Mr. Gueladio elucidated the benefits of collaborating with the scientific community from a cultural perspective while Mr. Patrick and Mr. Aurelien highlighted the role higher education can play in influencing the science policy interface.

Mr. Donovan and Mr. Peter highlighted the need for young scientist to be included in the SDG discussion while pointing out that eminent scientist may not be the best at inducing change as they are often focused on a narrower niche.

Meeting: Science-policy interface: New ideas, insights, and solutions

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, 12 July 2016/ 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM/ Conference Room 4

Speakers:

  • E. Mr. Hector Alejandro Palma Cerna, Deputy-Permanent Representative of Honduras to the UN and Vice President of ECOSOC (CHAIR)
  • Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
  • Lucilla Spini, Head of Science Programmes of the International Council for Science (ICSU) (MODERATOR)
  • Gueladio Cisse, Head of the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
  • E. William Colglazier, Senior Scholar at the Center for Science Diplomacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Aurélien Decamps, Assistant Professor at Kedge Business School, Sustainability Literacy Test and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI)
  • Donovan Guttieres, Focal Point for the Youth Science-Policy Interface Platform of UN Major Group for Children and Youth and Policy Focal Point for the Youth Gateway, the Global Youth Partnership for the SDG
  • Peter Messerli, Director of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the Institute of Geography of the University of Bern
  • Mr. Patrick Paul Walsh, Professor and Chair of International Development Studies of the School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin

Written by: Fred Yonghabi
Photo by: UNESCO

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