UN Scientific Advisory Board Holds Inaugural Meeting

scientific-advisory-board31 January 2014: The first meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set out a calendar for its work, and discussed means to tighten the linkage between the science and policy, as well as to define priority scientific issues for sustainable development. The inaugural meeting of the Board took place in Berlin, Germany, from 30-31 January 2014.

The Scientific Advisory Board, for which the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provides the secretariat, will serve as an interface to strengthen cooperation between the scientific community and policy-makers, in order to build sustainable development strategies on scientific grounds. Ban announced the Board's establishment at the inaugural meeting of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in September 2013. Creating the Board is part of the UN's strategy to mobilize the sciences to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and ensure the integration of scientific perspectives into the post-2015 development agenda.

In his opening remarks, Ban said the Board represents "some of the world's best scientific competence," and that it "will provide indispensable advice on the interface between science and policy for sustainable development." He noted that in the next two years: a global legal climate agreement will have to be finalized; action will have to be accelerated to achieve the MDGs; and Member States will have to define a post-2015 development agenda. In this context, he underscored that the Board will have to provide "valuable ideas in all these areas, and wherever we need cutting edge thinking on the interface between science and policy."

The Board's members include: Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Abdul Hamid Zakri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); and Rosie Cooney, Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Specialist Group on Sustainable Use and Livelihoods (SULi). [Meeting Website] [Scientific Advisory Board Website] [UNESCO Press Release, 9 January 2014] [Statement of UNSG] [UNESCO Press Release, 28 January 2014] [UNESCO Press Release, 30 January 2014] [CMS Press Release]