In December 2017, the Inter-Academy Partnership Science for Poverty Eradication Committee (IAP-SPEC) convened in Beijing, China, to discuss the role of Science Academies in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in general and their participation in the achievement of SDG 1 and SDG 10 specifically. As standing member of the committee, GYA member Robert Lepenies was invited by the IAP to attend and represent the GYA in the talks.

The meeting was organised by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and followed the inaugural meeting in Manaus, Brazil in 2014. In Beijing, we discussed what science can do to end poverty in all its forms everywhere (SDG 1) and what science can do to reduce inequality within and among countries (SDG 10). For this, scientific and organisational progress from a variety of contexts, regions and disciplines was discussed. IAP is exploring this theme in several working groups, and has recently issued a report with proposals on how academies can contribute in the UN framework (co-chaired by Eva Alisic). It is particularly encouraging that the National Young Academies and the GYA were seen as front-runners in the endeavour to get science academies involved.

Particularly the NYA/GYA joint statement on  “The Role of Young Academies in achieving the UN SDGs” was received extremely positively by participants. A joint statement by the working group is being prepared, charting the next steps.