The event was coordinated by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), in partnership with the National Academy of Medicine (ANM), and organized by the IAP Science for Poverty Eradication Committee (SPEC). Created in 2013, this committee is chaired by ABC and aims to discuss strategies to engage the Science Academies of the entire planet in the efforts towards poverty eradication and sustainable development.
Additional support for the organization of this initiative, which included sessions on “Science for Food Security: Tackling the Challenge of Feeding the World”, “Science for Water Security: Enhancing Global Access to Water”, “Science for Health: Ensuring Universal Access to Health”, and “Building Equity through Social and Economic Policies”, was also provide by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Hydrological Program (IHP-UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN-UN) and the Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP).
Gathering 30 experts from 23 different countries, the conference focused on critical issues that most severely impact the poor. Despite the enormous advances made by the Millennium Development Goals, millions of people still lack access to basic living conditions for a dignified existence. Based on consistent policies it is possible to positively transform the lives of huge contingencies of populations, increasing quality of life of poor communities in less developed countries, and contributing towards the protection of globally marginalized people. Throughout the event, the mobilization of the international scientific community in the efforts to help eradicate poverty and contribute to the design of the Post 2015 Development Agenda, and subsequent implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, was seen as a paramount challenge. Engaging the world’s science academies in this process is an important step in this direction, and is part of the core mission of the SPEC.
Another highlight of the conference was the final session on “Science for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development”. Senior UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs attended as key speaker, alongside representatives from eight science academies from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, which provided the opportunity to exchange views and experiences, and reaffirm the commitment of engaging academies in the global effort aimed at the design and later implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. This commitment was clearly embraced by all participants, and welcomed by Jeffrey Sachs, who congratulated the IAP SPEC for organizing the conference and highlighted the importance of IAP’s support in future UN meetings where the SDGs will be discussed.
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The third IAP-SPEC Conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro, on 27-29 March, 2019. The goal of this meeting will be to assemble renowned experts to discuss, motivate and help mobilize the scientific community to contribute to the paramount effort of building a sustainable planet, with more equality, peace and prosperity.
Science for Poverty Eradication Committee:
• Luiz Davidovich, Brazilian Academy of Sciences (Chair)
• Lai Meng Looi, IAP for Health
• Aya Abe, AASSA
• Aishah Bidin, AASSA
• Richard Catlow, EASAC
• Peter Fritz, EASAC
• Ricardo Paes de Barros, IANAS
• Judith Teichman, IANAS
• Yousuf Maudarbocus, NASAC
• Ratemo Michieka, NASAC
• Robert Lepenies, Global Young Academy