New York

18 September 2016

Secretary-General's remarks at the Handover of the Final Report of the Scientific Advisory Board [as prepared for delivery]

Dr. Irina Bokova, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and Director-General of UNESCO, Distinguished Members of the Scientific Advisory Board, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to be with you again.

Four years ago, the High Level Panel on Global Sustainability recommended that I consider establishing a scientific advisory board.

I gladly took their advice.

After wide consultation within the UN and with international science organizations, I asked Dr. Irina Bokova to bring the Board together in September 2014.

This is a critical time in human history.

We face challenges and opportunities never seen before.

We are the first generation that can end extreme poverty, and the last that can avert the threat of runaway climate change.

Those are the transformational goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Together, they provide a blueprint for peace, dignity, prosperity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet.

Science is essential to making this vision reality.

But not just any science.

We need stronger science, more connected science.

We need science that is more deeply integrated with policy-making.

The Scientific Advisory Board has played an important role in helping shape our new global agenda.

Its advice has helped me, the UN system and Member States to better understand the challenges and opportunities of sustainability.

I thank each of you for sharing your expertise, energy and enthusiasm.

I thank Director-General Bokova for her leadership, and the support provided by UNESCO.

And I thank the Member States and international organizations that have supported the Board’s meetings – especially the Governments of Germany, Italy, Malaysia and the Russian Federation.

This Summary Report will add greatly to our efforts to build a sustainable future for all.

Thank you.