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Committee Mandate

February 2022

An update for Council from the International Secretary and International Committee: 
Paul Young

Recent Activities

S7 – 2022 Process (Science Academies of the G7)

The presidency of the G7 in 2022 is Germany and we have received draft statements from the German National Academy Leopoldina. The RSC is currently engaging expert reviewers in addition to internal review by the international committee and academy presidents. The four draft statements focus on the following:

Climate, Energy Systems and Decarbonization
Ocean and Cryosphere: Towards International Stewardship
Antivirals: Increasing Preparedness for the Next Pandemic
Zoonoses and Antimicrobial Resistance: Towards a ‘One Health’ World

The revised statements, following academy review, will be prepared for the S7 academy meeting in Halle 4-6th April with a summit and handover of the statements to government in Berlin 31 May – 1 June ahead of the G7 Summit 26-28 June.

S20 – 2022 Process (Science Academies of the G20)  

The presidency of the G20 in 2022 is Indonesia and the RSC has recently received draft documents from the Indonesian National Academy of Science. These are currently in review and cover the following 5 priority issues within the theme “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”:

Building a Resilient Health System
Advancing Sustainable Low Carbon Health System
Bolstering Multi, Inter-, and Trans-Disciplinary Science and Technology for Climate Change and Pandemic Preparedness
Guarantee that People are at the Center 
Strengthening the Nexus between Data-Research-Policy-Practice for Climate Change and Pandemic Preparedness

The timeline for the 2022 process is to produce a 2nd draft by the end of March, a 3rd draft by the start of June, with a Pre-Summit meeting on final joint statements 27-28th July with the hand over summit to G20 on 20-21 Sept in advance of the G20 Summit 30-31 Oct. 

SSH7 (Social Sciences and Humanities Academies of the G7) – 2021 Process and Statements 

The statements of the 2021 SSH7 on “Resilience and Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic” were published in late November, 2021.

Meetings re Social Sciences and Humanities Initiatives within S7 and S20 processes. 

The international Secretary met with Dr. Ted Hewitt, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), to discuss G7 and G20 academies 2021 statements and future engagement of SSH within S7 and S20 processes. The RSC is following up on this and will liaise with SSHRC VP Dr. Valerie La Traverse as the 2022 process unfolds with a view to having broader discussions of the integrated role of SSH at the Calgary COEE.

Meetings with the Canadian Sherpa Office 

A meeting is being organized between Michael Bonser, the Executive Director (G7/G20 Summits) at Global Affairs Canada and the RSC International Committee. The purpose of the meeting is to understand the flow through processes that are currently in place as statements are prepared from G7 and G20 Academies and move forward to government via the Sherpa. 

United Nations (UN) International Year (2022) of Basic Science for sustainable Development

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming the year in December 2021. The RSC is one of many organizations globally supporting the initiative including the International Science Council and UNESCO. Details of its goals can be found at IYBSSD2022. The year will highlight the role of basic science in sustainable development and their contribution to the 17 UN sustainable development goals. We are currently looking into developing a special session at the Calgary COEE. 

Other International Initiatives ongoing

The inter Academy Partnership (IAP) General Assembly and Worldwide Meeting of Young Academies (November 2022)

The theme of the conference will be 'Inclusive Excellence: Harnessing knowledge for sustainable societies' and will be hosted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and co-organized by IAP, the Global Young Academy (GYA), NAS, RSC, the RSC College, and the NAS New Voices Program. The meeting will take place at Biosphere 2, Arizona, USA, on 1-3 November 2022.

Joint Academy Day on “Indigenous Engagement – Sharing Knowledge and Experience”

The RSC and the Royal Society of New Zealand have agreed to participate in a Joint academy day on indigenous knowledge. The international Committee recently discussed this as we wait to hear back from the New Zealand academy regarding next steps. We are very pleased that the incoming President of the College Professor Frank Deer, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Education, has agreed to work with us developing this Joint Academy Day. 

G7 Academies Net Zero Initiative?

As part of the SSH7 process the British Academy (BA) has invited G7 academies to consider working towards Net Zero themselves. The process proposed would be similar to how other organisations, including universities, have started to do so through the “Race to Zero” campaign. The International Committee discussed this and concluded that the main hurdle for the RSC would be the in-person COEE which currently is a core part of RSC annual activities.

Acknowledgment and Thanks

The International Secretary would like to thank and acknowledge the numerous experts and members of the RSC who have been consulted, provided advice, reviewed documents or accepted invitations to participate in events. He also thanks the current International Committee and academy presidents for their contributions.