Science policy interface including the briefing from the independent group of scientists on the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR)

The 2030 Agenda cites science, technology and innovation as key means of implementing the SDGs—as sources of knowledge about the world as it is, to inform effective policy making, and as tools to transform the world into what it must be for the wellbeing of future generations. In this session, the co-chairs of the Independent Group of Scientists will present key findings and the Call to Action contained in the 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). Additional panelists will share their own experiences in working to strengthen the science-policy interface at all levels. They will address both sides of the equation—as a leader of a global scientific organization and as a municipal-level policy maker. The session is expected to be highly interactive, particularly because Member States and Major Groups and Other Stakeholders have had the opportunity to review and comment on an earlier draft of the GSDR.

This session will have an interactive discussion format.

Background note is available here

Proposed guiding questions:

  • How can policy-makers open and amplify the lines of communication with the science community? How can they ensure that the messages received from the social and natural sciences notably are fully integrated into policies?

  • How can the scientific community become a more effective partner in advancing progress toward the 2030 Agenda? What changes are needed in terms of institutional structures, approaches, and communication?

  • How can the UN and partners increase engagement in the 2030 Agenda from science communities, funders, academia and private sector? In particular, what can the UN and other partners do to enlist science, technology and innovation as allies in the commitment to leave no one behind?

  • How can the HLPF build on the findings of the GSDR in its follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda?

Chair:

  • Ms. Kira Christianne Danganan Azucena, Vice President of ECOSOC

Moderator:

  • Mr. Romain Murenzi, Executive Director, World Academy of Sciences

Resource persons:

  • Ms. Endah Murniningtyas, former Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesia (Co-chair of GSDR)

  • Mr. Peter Messerli, Director of the Center for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland (Co-chair of GSDR)

  • Ms. Heide Hackmann, CEO of the International Science Council

  • Ms. Meera Joshi, outgoing Commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

Lead discussant:

  • Mr. Stephan Contius, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany

  • Ms. Virginia Murray, Head of the Global Disaster Risk Reduction at Public Health England and member of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk scientific committee (MGoS)

Followed by interactive discussion

Biographies
Mr. Peter Messerli
Director of the Center for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland (Co-chair of GSDR)
Mr. Peter Messerli

Director of the Center for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland (Co-chair of GSDR)

Peter Messerli is professor for sustainable development at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the director of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE). As a land system scientist and human geographer his research interests lie in the sustainable development of social-ecological systems in Africa and Asia. He focuses on increasingly globalized and competing claims on land, rural transformation processes, and spatial manifestations of their outcomes. Peter Messerli is the co-chair of Future Earth’s Global Land Programme (GLP) and has been appointed in 2016 as the co-chair of the group of 15 independent scientists drafting the UN Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR).

Mr. Romain Murenzi
Executive Director, World Academy of Sciences
Mr. Romain Murenzi

Executive Director, World Academy of Sciences

Dr. Romain Murenzi has been Director of Division for Science Policy & Capacity Building of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization since April 14, 2016. Dr. Murenzi serves as an Executive Director of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World in Trieste, Italy. He deals with scientific issues and capacity building for all low- and mid-income nations. He was a Minister of Science and Technology, Rwanda, where he was a key architect of its country's education, science and technology renaissance after years of civil war and genocide. Dr. Murenzi has over 30 years of experience in capacity building in science, science policy and diplomacy, in both the public sector and in academia. Since 2011 Prof. Murenzi has served as Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), a UNESCO programme, based in Trieste, Italy. PhD fellowship opportunities have more than tripled over the course of his tenure, from 150 per year in 2011 to over 460 in 2016. During that time, Dr. Murenzi chaired the UN Secretary General's High-level Panel on a Technology Bank for the LDCs, which studied the scope and functions of such a institution, and became a member of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development. In January 2016, he was appointed by the Secretary-General as a member of the. Dr. Murenzi has been a Director of Global Virus Network since January 16, 2013. He served from 2001 to 2006 as Rwanda's Ministerof Education, Science, Technology and Scientific Research, and from March 2006 to July 2009 as Minister in the President's Office in Charge of Science, Technology, and Scientific Research, with responsibilities including Information and Communications Technology. Dr. Murenzi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Burundi (1982), as well as degrees in Physics at the Master's (1986) and doctorate (1990) levels, obtained at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). In 2013, he obtained a Master of Law degree in Information Technology and Telecommunication from the University of Strathclyde (UK).

Ms. Endah Murniningtyas
Former Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesian (Co-chair of GSDR)
Ms. Endah Murniningtyas

Former Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesian (Co-chair of GSDR)

Ms. Endah Murniningtyas is former Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesia. She graduated with a BSc in Agricultural Economics and Social from Bogor Agricultural Institute in 1984, graduated with an MSc in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Oregon State University in 1989, and was awarded a PhD from Colorado State University in 2000 for studies in Agricultural and Resource Economics. She is an active board member of Perhimpunan Ekonomi Pertanian Indonesia (Perhepi) and Indonesian Economists Association (ISEI), and also a member of the Long Term Development Planning Study and Strategic Planning Team of BAPPENAS.

Ms. Heide Hackmann
CEO of the International Science Council (former ICSU)
Ms. Heide Hackmann

CEO of the International Science Council (former ICSU)

Dr. Heide Hackmann is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Science Council (ISC). She has served as Executive Director of the two organizations that merged, in July 2018, to form the ISC: the International Council for Science (from 2015 to July 2018) and the International Social Science Council (from 2007 to 2015). Heide holds a M.Phil in contemporary social theory from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a PhD in science and technology studies from the University of Twente in the Netherlands. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria) and a member of several international advisory committees and boards, including the Scientific Advisory Board of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Germany), the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (Germany), the Excellence, Impact and Engagement Committee of the Oceans Frontier Institute (Canada) and the African Open Science Platform. In addition she is a member and past co-chair of the UN’s 10 Member Group supporting the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) on the Sustainable Development Goals, and a member of the Climate Science Advisory Group for the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit.

Ms. Kira Christianne Danganan Azucena
Vice President of ECOSOC
Ms. Kira Christianne Danganan Azucena

Vice President of ECOSOC

H.E. Mrs. Kira Christianne Danganan-Azucena is Vice President of ECOSOC. She has extensive experience in policy creation aimed at improving the overall quality of life and translating gains of good governance into direct benefits to empower the poor and marginalized segments of society, as well as campaigns related to engaging and empowering youth and addressing the needs of older persons and those living with disabilities.

Ms. Meera Joshi
Outgoing commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, known for her efforts at evidence-based municipal policy making
Ms. Meera Joshi

Outgoing commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, known for her efforts at evidence-based municipal policy making

Meera Joshi is the outgoing Commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), where she oversees the largest private for-hire ground transportation industry in the United States, making a million trips a day. Under her leadership, the agency has fostered tremendous diversity, growth, and innovation in the taxi, car service, ride-hailing, and commuter van industries while maintaining the highest standards of public safety and consumer protection. Commissioner Joshi initiated programs that have made TLC a national leader in data collection, accessibility for individuals with disabilities, protecting drivers' pay, and traffic safety.

Commissioner Joshi is a vocal advocate for the value robust transportation data brings to policymakers and citizens alike, and under her tenure NYC became the first city in the nation to mandate granular trip data from large app operators like Uber and Lyft. By making much of this data public, she has become a leader in the Open Data movement. Under her tenure, NYC has created the largest wheelchair accessible for-hire fleet in the country, including a program that centrally dispatches a wheelchair accessible taxi on demand to anywhere in the five boroughs, and created the first pay protection for drivers of app services like Uber and Lyft in the nation. TLC serves as one of the lead agencies in New York’s citywide "Vision Zero" program and promotes traffic safety through a comprehensive suite of education, outreach, enforcement, and technology promotion programs. Through these efforts fatalities involving TLC vehicles were reduced by 50%.

Before serving as Commissioner, Meera Joshi was TLC’s Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs and General Counsel. Prior to that, she served as the first Deputy Executive Director of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the agency tasked with investigating complaints of police misconduct. She also served as an Inspector General for the New York City Department of Investigation and was responsible for overseeing New York City’s Department of Correction, Probation, Juvenile Justice, and the TLC.

Meera received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and resides with her family in Brooklyn.

Ms. Virginia Murray
Head of the Global Disaster Risk Reduction at Public Health England and member of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk scientific committee (MGoS)
Ms. Virginia Murray

Head of the Global Disaster Risk Reduction at Public Health England and member of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk scientific committee (MGoS)

Professor Virginia Murray is currently Head of the Global Disaster Risk Reduction at Public Health England and is a member of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk scientific committee. Prior to this, she was appointed as Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection in 2011where extensive work was taken forward on evidence-based information and advice on flooding, heat, cold, volcanic ash, and other extreme weather and natural hazards and events. In addition, she has been a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, published in March 2012. She has been a member and vice-chair of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Scientific and Technical Advisory Group from 2008-2017 and has been actively engaged with health, science and technology partners to support the implementation Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and its coherence with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Statements
Statements
Maulani Rotinsulu
Professor Virginia Murray
Sarankhukhuu from the Women’s Major Group
Statement submitted by LGBTI+ Stakeholder Group
Statement submitted by NGO Major Group
Presentations
Mr. Peter Messerli, Director of the Center for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland (Co-chair of GSDR)
United Nations