"Leave no one behind" -DLR-PT Director Klaus Uckel at the UN Science Summit
16th September 2021 — The Science Summit around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) aims to raise awareness of the role of science in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It also seeks to explore what framework conditions are needed for global scientific cooperation. Interested parties from all over the world were able to follow the opening session "How science will support the attainment of the SDGs" live via Zoom on Tuesday, the 14th September. Klaus Uckel, Executive Director of DLR-PT, was one of the first speakers. From the perspective of science management, he outlined his vision of global science cooperation in a 12-minute contribution– with the central message: "We must leave no one behind."
Audio: Klaus Uckel at the UNGA76 Science Summit
"Leave no one behind– this is a central promise of the 2030 Agenda,” Uckel noted. “International cooperation in research and development can make a significant contribution to achieving this goal. In international cooperation, we should take greater account of the heterogeneity of research systems and the different standards and framework conditions in science internationally. We need to work together at eye level and learn from each other, so that we can tackle global challenges together!"
Uckel also advocated more fairness and sensitivity in technology transfer and intellectual property rights, new approaches to monitoring and impact assessment, more science diplomacy and citizen participation. From experience, he said, DLR-PT was aware that research projects had a greater impact when "stakeholders" – including citizens – were involved.
"Science can play an important role as a basis for political decisions, and it can build bridges between science, society and politics – including between science and development cooperation," Uckel continued. This was why DLR-PT, together with several partners, launched the EU Alliance for Science Diplomacy in 2021, he said.
Watch a summary of Klaus Uckel's speech here.
Watch Klaus Uckel's full speech in the long version here.
DLR-PT organises two sessions of the Science Summit
Up to the 30th September, the UNGA76 Science Summit is expected to produce 17 "Science for SDGs" strategies in five plenary sessions, 120 scientific main sessions and 20 "Partner and Consortium Building Sessions". The organisers are reckoning with more than 400 speakers and 20,000 participants. DLR-PT is organising two of the working sessions:
Moderated by Angela Schindler-Daniels and Maria Josten from DLR-PT, the session “Using science for/in diplomacy for solving global challenges” is to take place on the 24th September, from 3 to 5 p.m.. Here, DLR-PT and the "European Union Science Diplomacy Alliance" will be focusing on science diplomacy. High-ranking experts from science, politics and innovation will discuss the role of science in diplomacy and politics in addressing global challenges such as health, climate change and clean water. Speakers include Canada's Minister of Science Mona Nemer and Asmita Parshotam of the High Court of South Africa.
On the 27th September, at 1 p.m., DLR-PT will have a moderator discussing monitoring approaches from international research cooperation to achieve the SDGs. The two-hour session “The significance of international research cooperation for the attainment of the SDGs – approaches from research management” will be moderated by Joachim Post (DLR) and Sophie von Knebel (DLR-PT). How can stakeholders be involved in addressing global challenges? How can the influence of science on the achievement of sustainability goals be measured, and what framework conditions are necessary for this? Questions like these will be addressed by Tanja Woronowicz (Institute for Qualifying Innovation Research and Consulting, IQIB, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler), Jackie Olang Kado (Network of African Science Academies) and Valeria Arza (National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina), among others. The Africa, Middle East, Turkey Department of DLR-PT is to be represented on the panel by Stefan A. Haffner.