At the thirty-sixth session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in 2016, the member states adopted a resolution that established the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development. Its mission is to follow up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which also includes the Sustainable Development Goals. From 16 to 20 April of this year, the Second Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development took place in Chile, organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal).

GYA member Clarissa Rios Rojas had the opportunity to attend and speak at the side event: Interdisciplinary science for the knowledge economy and fulfilment of the SDGs, the importance of youth. Clarissa spoke about the role of young scientists in policy-making and science diplomacy. She explained why politicians and policy makers should invest in listening more to scientists and why scientists should work on understanding policies and the view of citizens to help them make sense of their research. Her presentation also described the work done by different institutions where scientists from diverse areas are producing science-based evidence to inform policy makers and governments (AAAS in USA, Joint Research Center in Europe, Mitacs in Canada, etc). Moreover, she presented the work being done by the Global Young Academy  and Ekpa’palek, to empower scientists around the world and in Latin-America respectively.

During a plenary, Clarissa highlighted the lack of spaces which would promote cooperation between scientists and policymakers in Latin-America. She advised to the high-level panel, including Secretary general Alicia Barcena (Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), to give a seat at the table to the voices of young professionals and scientists at high-level events. It was later promised that at the Third Forum in 2019, a space for young professionals and scientists will be established.

The full Conclusions and Recommendations of the Forum can be found at this link.

Clarissa Rios Rojas writes regularly on the Ekpa’palek blog, and recently wrote about the GYA’s work in the Spanish Newspaper Mundiario.