In September 2019, a group of 15 independent scientists co-chaired by Peter Messerli, University of Bern, Switzerland, and Endah Murniningtyas, National Development Planning Agency, Republic of Indonesia, submitted the first scientific report about SDGs to the United Nations Secretary General. They gave this report the title The Future is Now – Science for Achieving Sustainable Development.
It’s a heavy document (250 pages) but worth reading by every scientist, every policy maker, and as many citizens as possible. Through a series of posts, we will deliver you here some content from this report. We hope it will inspire you to read it.
Let’s begin with some words from the prologue by Gro Harlem Bruntland, former Prime Minister of Norway, former Director-General of the World Health Organization and member of The Elders, an international nongovernmental organization founded by Nelson Mandela and comprising independent global leaders working together for peace, justice and human rights. G. Harlem Bruntland is also well known because she chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development when it delivered in 1987 the report Our common future, that popularized the concept of sustainable development.
“As a medical doctor and a political leader, I have always placed the utmost importance on scientific evidence in formulating policies and measuring their impact.
By the same token, I have always believed that the development of science itself must be informed by humane values, and its awesome power must be applied in ways that respect human rights and share the benefits of progress in an equal and just fashion.
The present report is a clear and practical expression of the social and sustainable purpose of science. Most importantly, it emphasizes the need for a collective, holistic approach:
“The true transformative potential of the 2030 Agenda can be realised through a systemic approach that helps identify and manage trade-offs while maximising co-benefits.”
The Sustainable Development Goals cover all aspects of human life and development – from health, education and the environment to peace, justice, security and equality.
Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, they apply to all countries and not just the developing world. That is important. Every Head of State, every Government and every citizen has a responsibility to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are met.”