International Council for Science (ICSU)

The International Council for Science (ICSU) is a non-governmental organisation with a global membership made up of national scientific bodies (120 Members, representing 140 countries) and International Scientific Unions (31 Members), and whose mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. To do this, ICSU mobilises the knowledge and resources of the international science community to identify and address major issues of importance to science and society, and to facilitate interaction amongst scientists across all disciplines and from all countries. It promotes the participation of all scientists—regardless of race, citizenship, language, political stance or gender—in the international scientific endeavour, and provides independent, authoritative advice to stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific community and governments, civil society and the private sector.

The main ICSU Secretariat is based in Paris and there are three Regional Offices serving Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

ICSU also has 17 Interdisciplinary Bodies, established with various strategic partners to address major issues of relevance to both science and society; one such Body is the IRDR.

The International Social Science Council (ISSC)

issc-logoThe International Social Science Council (ISSC) is an international non-profit-making scientific organisation with headquarters at UNESCO House in Paris. It is the primary international body representing the social and behavioural sciences at a global level. The Council’s role is to advance the practice and use of the social and behavioral sciences in all parts of the world, and to ensure their global representation. This involves:

  • An overview of the quality and development of the constituent sciences;
  • Action to stimulate their growth; and
  • Work to ensure their utilisation and relevance to the problems of humankind. Such promotion includes, wherever possible, the assistance of policy development at international and national levels, and the use of high quality social science research to further economic well-being and quality of life globally.

 The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)

Created in December 1999, UNISDR is the secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). It is the successor to the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) with the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. The mandate of UNISDR expanded in 2001 to serve as the focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations system and regional organisations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. This was in response to a need for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction within the development and other areas of work of the UN. The “Hyogo Declaration” and the “Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters” was adopted by the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, held in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, in January 2005. The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) tasked UNISDR with supporting the implementation of the HFA.


Huadong GUO,  Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Feng Min KAN, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)

Vivi STAVROU, International Social Science Council (ISSC)

Lucilla SPINI, International Council for Science (ICSU)

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