The year 2019 is a critical time for the UN’s Agenda 2030, the global blueprint for the economic, social and environmental development of our planet. Four years into this 15-year framework, the UN Members’ Heads of State will review progress on the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underpinning Agenda 2030 and set the course for the next review period that will take the agenda beyond the halfway mark. The world’s academies and the scientific community at large have an opportunity to act, and to effect positive change, within this critical timeframe.
Agenda 2030 is potentially transformative, but its implementation will require profound change in the world’s socio-economic, political, cultural and research systems, and the unsustainable practices and behaviours, attitudes and values that underpin them. The best minds, resources, business models and innovations from all sectors and disciplines and across generations must be mobilised to effect this transformation.
Effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires access to, and the application of, the best available evidence from the global community of knowledge providers. Independent expert advice is a vital part of evidence-informed policymaking at national, regional and global levels of decision-making: strengthening the evidence-policy interface at all these levels is imperative.