Joint Statement on Sustainability Week at the UN General Assembly

This statement was originally published by the International Science Council.


The International Science Council (ISC) and the Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP) have jointly prepared a statement for the first-ever UNGA Sustainability Week. The statement emphasises the essential role of science, including natural and social sciences, in advancing the 2030 Agenda. It highlights three key science-supported principles on debt crisis, development crisis, and social equality:

  1. Debt crises and Social Equality: Debt crises have historically resulted in downward spirals on social and economic equality. Structural adjustment policies have often exacerbated these effects, leading to declining social trust, political polarisation, and migration.
  2. Escalating Debt Situation: The current escalating debt situation poses unprecedented challenges, hindering equitable green transitions and weakening institutional capacity to address future pandemics.
  3. Accessible Public Finance Tools: There are no scientifically valid obstacles to creating sufficient, accessible, and smart public finance tools to address debt, debt crises, and investment needs. Interdisciplinary discussions are vital to overcome vested interests and orthodoxies in expanding and fine-tuning such tools.

The scientific community stands ready to support Member States and the UN system in evidence-informed decision-making and action.

This joint statement is of profound significance for GRIP, emphasising the pivotal role of both natural and social sciences in confronting the multifaceted challenges of debt sustainability, development crises, and social inequality. It is instrumental to our research programme as it resonates with our dedication to comprehending and mitigating the escalating disparities across all global regions. Furthermore, it underscores the imperative of interdisciplinary research and the fusion of diverse knowledge realms to effectively tackle global dilemmas.


In line with GRIP’s objectives, this statement highlights the importance of making evidence-based decisions to combat escalating inequalities worldwide. By elucidating the intricate links between debt, social equity, and sustainable development, it emphasises the pressing need for interdisciplinary methodologies in addressing these critical issues.


Moreover, the statement aligns seamlessly with GRIP’s mission to cultivate interdisciplinary research, champion epistemological inclusivity, and contribute to systemic shifts toward more sustainable and equitable futures. It reinforces the necessity for embracing diverse knowledge frameworks and employing varied research modalities to grasp and address the underlying causes of global inequality comprehensively. Our programme is dedicated to charting pathways toward greater equality by examining both global and local debates surrounding inequality and producing actionable research.


In summary, this joint statement epitomises our commitment to advancing inequality research and advocating for evidence-based policies that foster social justice and sustainability. It reinforces the indispensable role of science in shaping fairer and more resilient societies, closely aligning with our programme’s objectives, and demonstrating our ongoing endeavours to tackle global inequalities. We believe that this statement serves as a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness of global challenges and the imperative of a holistic, science-driven approach. It stresses the urgent need to address the mounting debt crisis and its ramifications on social and economic parity. Together with the ISC, we stand in solidarity in our call for a more systematic integration of science to realise the 2030 Agenda.