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2015 Global Sustainable Development Report

The 2015 Global Sustainable Development Report is expected to be launched in June 2015 and contribute to the 2015 session of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development.

Following the approach piloted for the preparation of the Prototype and the mandate given at Rio+20, the general approach to the 2015 edition of the GSDR report will be that of an assessment of assessments, documenting and describing the landscape of information on specific issues. The report will be global in coverage while taking into account the perspectives of the five UN regions. Extensive inputs will be sought from the UN system, government officials and stakeholders at all levels, including representatives of academies of sciences, of key international assessments, and relevant UN expert groups.

A unique opportunity

With the establishment of the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2012, Governments have created – for the first time - an entry point for scientists across the world to be heard at the highest levels of the United Nations – the General Assembly. This is your unique opportunity to bring scientific issues to the attention of policy makers! Do not miss it!

Draft outline
Chapter 7: Science issues and solutions for the attention of decision-makers See above contributions and how to contribute to this chapter

UN High-level Political Forum and the Global Sustainable Development Report

Governments established the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) with the mandate to provide political guidance on sustainable development. They decided that the forum should strengthen the science-policy interface by examining documentation, bringing together diverse information and assessments, including in the form of a Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), building on existing assessments, and enhancing evidence-based decision-making at all levels. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs prepared a Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) in 2014 which drew upon inputs from a range of stakeholders, including the UN system and members of scientific communities across the world. The preparations for the next Global Sustainable Development Report, to be submitted to the third session of the HLPF in June 2015, are now underway. The present call aims to provide individual scientists and research institutions a unique opportunity to highlight issues, research findings or solutions – in the form of briefs - that they would like to bring to the attention of policy makers. One chapter of the Report will be dedicated to these contributions.

Scope of the call for contributions

By way of general guidance, the briefs should address an issue, finding, or research with a bearing on sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social, and environmental – or the inter-linkages between them. Thus the focus could be on the review of up-to-date findings relating to a particular issue, address the single issue of importance, or present solutions to a problem or challenge. It could also present the “story” of a research finding that has great policy relevance but is not typically considered in the policy debate. The briefs are to be factual and based on peer-reviewed literature. Contributions from both the natural and social science communities from all disciplines are highly valued and welcomed.


The aim of the briefs is to summarize or highlight the most salient findings or arguments; supporting material can be a separate technical Annex or reference to a supporting research paper. The briefs should be less than 1,500 words. It should be factual and based on peer-reviewed literature. It is recommended to highlight a number of key messages from the current scientific debate for the attention of policy-makers.

As a general guideline, the brief should follow the format of the sample brief on the website (two columns). Tables or figures should all be captioned with source indicated. Text references should be in Harvard Style, i.e. (Author, year) inserted where quoted in the text. Please use footnotes instead of endnotes, for necessary explanations and asides. All references should be listed alphabetically at the end of the brief.

Submission process
The brief (including supporting documents) should be submitted to in .doc or .docx format, using email subject GSDR 2015 Science Briefs – [title of the brief]. The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2014

More information can be found here.

However, interested contributors are invited to submit their briefs as soon as possible.

All briefs that meet basic formatting and quality standards will be posted on the website of the GSDR for an open comment period. Based on the online review process, a sub-set of briefs will be identified from which ideas and material will be drawn for inclusion in the GSDR chapter on newly-arising science issues and solutions for policy-makers.


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