ICSU’s mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. To do this, ICSU mobilizes the knowledge and resources of the international science community to:
- Identify and address major issues of importance to science and society.
- Facilitate interaction amongst scientists across all disciplines and from all countries.
- Promote the participation of all scientists—regardless of race, citizenship, language, political stance, or gender—in the international scientific endeavour.
- Provide independent, authoritative advice to stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific community and governments, civil society, and the private sector.
The long-term strategic vision is for a world where science is used for the benefit of all, excellence in science is valued and scientific knowledge is effectively linked to policy making. In order to achieve this vision, ICSU developed a Second Strategic Plan, 2012–2017 which identifies key priorities and associated activities. These activities focus on three areas:
The main ICSU Secretariat (20 staff in 2012) is based in Paris and ensures the day-to-day planning and operations under the guidance of an elected Executive Board. A small number of Policy Committees assist the Executive Board in its work and a General Assembly of all Members is convened every three years. ICSU has three Regional Offices - Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. The offices support scientific networks in their regions, facilitate the participation of scientists from developing countries in the activities of ICSU and its Members, and ensure that the ICSU strategy and activities are responsive to the needs of developing countries. The activities of the offices are guided by dedicated regional scientific committees. ICSU also has 17 Interdisciplinary Bodies, established with various strategic partners, that address major issues of relevance to both science and society.