Throughout the course of 2020, the “Global Leadership for the 21st Century” project, undertaken by the World Academy of Art and Science in partnership with the United Nations Office in Geneva, has brought together over 70 UN partner organizations and over 400 experts to offer their recommendations for new, more dynamic and more efficient global strategies.
The vast majority of these were put forward during a far-reaching conference organized between June 15th – 19th 2020 tackling a variety of challenges across different sectors, a conference for which the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization organized two separate panels: The Role of Universities in Sustainable Regional Development, moderated by emeritus professor Dan Grigorescu, the Institute’s Scientific Director (June 16th, 2020) and The Role of the Academic Environment in Elaborating a Vision and Strategy for Global Governance in the 21st Century, moderated by emeritus professor Emil Constantinescu, the President of the Institute’s Scientific Council.
The topics discussed during the June conference outlined the most important issues to be addressed by a series of specialised work groups, whose final proposals and presentations formed the basis for the project’s closing conference which was held between December 15th – 16th 2020. This event brought together over 60 scholars and scientists alongside representatives of civil society, of academic institutions, of the business environment and of youth organisations, who all shared their particular perspectives on the challenges of the future.
The conference tackled a series of themes of immediate relevance and importance: Health and food security; Environment and climate; Restoring public trust and the role of media; Economy and employment; Leadership for financing implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; Education; Mobilizing civil society: building global social consciousness; Human security and peace building; Mobilizing youth networks and social movements.
As part of the conference, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization organized a panel on Academia: Integrating research into policy making and implementation, moderated by President Emil Constantinescu. The panel featured notable speakers such as Piero Dominici (Scientific Director, International Research and Education Programme on Human Complex Systems); Michael Möller (Chair, Diplomacy Forum, Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator); Afshan Khan (UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia); Paul Ladd (Director, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development) and Peter McGrath (Executive Director, InterAcademy Partnership). Some of the recommendations proposed were the need to counteract existing inequalities and gaps in access to science at a global level; the capacity of the academic environment to restore scientific knowledge as the foundation of future leadership initiatives; expanded collaboration between academia and elected leaders; and the correlation between scientific research and the attainment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The substantive recommendations proposed throughout the event can all be found in the Report on the Conference Proceedings, published by the United Nations Office in Geneva.