IIASA was honored to welcome a delegation from the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly led by H.E. Ambassador Csaba Kőrösi earlier this week.

H.E. Ambassador Kőrösi with IIASA Director General Albert van Jaarsveld © IIASA

H.E. Ambassador Kőrösi with IIASA Director General Albert van Jaarsveld

On Tuesday, 23 May 2023, H.E. Ambassador Kőrösi, President of the 77th session of UN General Assembly, visited IIASA to learn more about the work IIASA does. One of the ambassador’s stated aims is to broaden cooperation with the scientific community and to integrate scientific support for UN processes, ranging from climate change to sustainable development.

After welcoming the delegation, IIASA Director General Albert van Jaarsveld explained the origins of IIASA and gave an overview of the institute’s research activities. He highlighted the upcoming IIASA Flagship Report, which will provide an overview of past and ongoing IIASA activities that have gained important science and/or science-policy recognition and impacts with a growing global network of participants and stakeholders. He also explained the institute’s role as a neutral science-based think tank and bridge builder working to facilitate science-based dialogues on contested issues.

Following the introduction, Advancing Systems Analysis Program Director Elena Rovenskaya, Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program Director Petr Havlík, Energy, Climate and Environment Program Director Keywan Riahi, and Ting Tang, a researcher in the Water Security Research Group, presented insights and ongoing work from their programs on the role of science in decision making, the solutions that science can provide to issues around water and food security, and the climate crises; models of partnerships, especially in multilateral formats, IIASA support for UN agencies, and the role of science in facilitating sustainability transformations.

The Ambassador highlighted the urgent need to ensure that the next phase of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is tackled with increased credibility and that progress is measured and monitored in a more rigorous and scientific manner that moves beyond using GDP as an indicator and that takes human wellbeing, as an ultimate outcome, into account. H.E. Ambassador Kőrösi was appreciative of the insights from the upcoming IIASA Flagship Report introduced by van Jaarsveld and indicated that the report could contribute to the SDG Summit taking place in New York from 18-19 September this year.

The Ambassador further emphasized the urgent need to consolidate UN work around the matter of water security and foresees that IIASA can play an important role here. To this end, the Ambassador extended an invitation to IIASA participants to continue this conversation with his office during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development taking place in New York from 10-19 July.

IIASA looks forward to cooperating with H.E. Ambassador Kőrösi’s office and to contribute to strengthening the UN system and the achievement of the SDGs.

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