On 23 April 2015, Dr Ailsa Holloway from Stellenbosch University South Africa and IRDR ICoE for Risk Education and Learning (IRDR ICoE-REaL), represented Periperi U as she took part in an ICSU (International Council for Science) delegation for a series of meetings at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
The metings took place as sideline events to the Intergovernmental negotiations on the post 2015 Development Agenda. During the negotiations, Dr Holloway delivered the following statement to the interactive dialogue with major groups and other stakeholders
“Concerning the means of implementation, the UN Secretary General’s Synthesis Report highlights key areas through which the critical role of science can be enhanced to better enable sustainable development solutions,” she said.
She added that the Science and Technology community urged governments to include the following specific commitments from Member States:
- Increasing public expenditure in research and development for sustainable development.
- Enhancing support for developing countries, especially LDCs, to allow them to benefit from enhanced access to technologies for sustainable development.
- Ensuring access to the benefits of knowledge and technology for all, and creating the right incentives for sustainable practices, and for the required technological innovation. “
Along with Holloway, the ICSU delegation also comprised Dave Griggs of Monash University and Lucilla Spini, Head of Science Programmes at the ICSU Secretariat.
On the same day, Holloway participated as speaker in the side event Territorial Approach of the Means of Implementation – A Multilevel and Multi-stakeholder Global Partnership organized by the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development, bringing a disaster risk reduction perspective into the discussion.
ICSU also attended a side event which brought together members of the UN Secretary General’s Scientific Advisory Board, including Wole Soboyejo, Maria Ivanova and ZakriI Abdul Hamid. Discussion focused on Means of Implementation for the SDGs, including how to foster linkages between the Board and the Science and Technology Major Group.
UNU/DFG held a two-day conference from April 23-24 entitled “Measuring Sustainable Development: How Can Science Contribute to the SDGs?” Speakers and participants included Dave Griggs, ICSU CSPR Member Martin Visbeck, UNU Vice-Rector Jacob Rhyner, DFG President Peter Strohschneider, Chair of the Future Earth Science Committee Mark Stafford-Smith, Future Earth Executive Director Paul Shrivastava and Vice Chair of the Future Earth Science Committee Belina Reyers.
The conference highlighted the importance of contributions from the scientific community on indicators for the SDGs. As follow up to the conference, the role of thematic workshops and workshops for early career scientists in this regard was noted. In this context, the upcoming ICSU/ISSC/DFG Young Scientists Networking Conference: “Future Sustainability: The role of science in the SDGs” was also recalled as a key event. Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO also referred to the joint document prepared by ICSU, ISSC and Future Earth for distribution to Member States.