Science/Technology Major Group
The UN Headquarters’ Secretariat building reflecting the autumn sky. Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
The Scientific and Technological Community Major Group
The Scientific and Technological Community Major Group is one of nine ‘Major Groups’ (stakeholder groups) that were identified in Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992: women; children and youth; indigenous peoples; non-governmental organizations; local authorities; workers and trade unions; business and industry; farmers; and the scientific and technological community. The Major Groups system is used by the UN to organise the inclusion of stakeholders in UN processes.
In this role, ICSU is able to participate alongside governments in UN meetings that use this model of participation, with a designated seat in the meeting room, and often with time allotted to make statements and the opportunity to submit written input at key points in the processes. The co-organising partner mandate includes a responsibility to coordinate and facilitate the participation of the scientific community at large.
The Major Groups model of participation has been in place for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) since 2002, and ICSU has participated in the CSD’s annual meetings since that time. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has used this model since 2004, and ICSU has participated in the annual Stakeholder Forums and the UNEP General Conference, as well as participating in numerous conference calls and additional consultation meetings that UNEP holds throughout the year as part of its stakeholder coordination and outreach strategy. Major UN summits on the environment and development have also used the Major Groups system, notably the the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Rio+20 conference held in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
We also work with a wide range of organizations to prepare input for the Science & Technology Major Group.