SDG Interactions, gender and the science-policy interface: update on the High Level Political Forum

This year’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations was the first-ever in-depth review of selected Sustainable Development Goals: poverty, food and agriculture, health, gender, oceans, resilient infrastructure, and means of implementation. This post is abridged from the International Council for Science (ICSU) update on the HLPF.

The meeting, which took place between 10-19 July under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), involved the first state-led reviews of progress on the goals and more than 40 countries presenting their national voluntary reviews.

The Scientific and Technological Community – co-organized by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the ISSC and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) – delivered a statement on July 14 calling for an inclusive definition of “science” and for more engagement of early career scientists. Earlier in the week, ICSU’s Head of Science Programmes Lucilla Spini also delivered a statement highlighting the role of science and technology in fostering gender equality.

ICSU also convened a side event on July 12 to present its latest report, launched earlier this year: “Guide to SDG Interactions: From Science to Implementation”. On July 13, ICSU Executive Director Heide Hackmann was an invited speaker in a panel on advancing science, technology and innovation for the SDGs. Hackmann, who is also co-chair of the 10-Member Group of High-Level Representatives in Support of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, highlighted the need for enhanced collaboration within the scientific community, new forms of engagement with policy and public action, and increased efforts on the potential of big data and machine learning.

The ISSC and ICSU are currently pursuing a merger to form a new, single organization that will consolidate the strengths of both ISSC and ICSU while blazing a new trail for international science in the 21st century.