UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Opens Inaugural Meeting of UN Scientific Advisory Board
The United Nations Scientific Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting on January 30th, 2014. Opening remarks were given by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who hailed the importance of the new body in shaping political action on issues of sustainable development, the reduction of inequality, and the eradication of poverty.
“We need scientific approaches that overcome barriers between disciplines and methods. We need a holistic vision of the challenges to build integrated responses. And we need local and global political leadership informed by solid science and innovative approaches to problem solving,” said the Secretary-General. “This Board represents some of the world’s best scientific competence. It will provide indispensable advice on the interface between science and policy for sustainable development.”
Mr. Ban’s remarks emphasized the importance of scientific input in three distinct and ongoing UN processes for sustainable development: the finalization of a global climate agreement by 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and the definition of a post-2015 development agenda. The Secretary-General argued that successful achievement of these goals requires the input of a range of disciplines in order to strengthen the scientific basis for political decisions.
The SAB is composed of 26 scientists from all regions and a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, and it includes our own director Maria Ivanova. The first meeting of the board, from January 30th-31st, 2014, will establish the boards role and functions and will discuss ways to strengthen linkages between science and policy. The board is meeting in Berlin and is also attended by Executive Heads of other UN organizations and high-level officials from the German government.