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Welcome to the Science Summit at UNGA76, a major contribution to advancing Science for the UN SDGs. Online from 14- September - 5 October 2021.
ISC will organise the second edition of the UNGA76 Science Summit around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (SSUNGA76) in September 2021. The objective of the virtual meeting will be to raise awareness of the role and contribution of science to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It will demonstrate initiatives that provide models for global science mechanisms and activities in support of the SDGs, particularly in science infrastructure and capacity building. Science is and will enable sustainable economic, environmental, and societal development. Science is more than a funding prioritisation exercise: science is impacting all areas of policy-making and is playing a more critical role in how policy objectives are achieved and the consequent benefit to people everywhere, including responses to global challenges.
Engagement with policy leadership is more important than ever: UNGA76 is a unique forum for science to demonstrate how policy and political leadership can benefit from innovation. Central to this is the role of nonstate actors and the multilateral fora, which increasingly determine how priorities are set. Science needs to be part of this dialogue and inform outputs through thought leadership, evidence, insights, analysis, and innovation.

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Friday, September 24 • 12:00pm - 1:30pm
(REF IN24) Health research supporting the SDGs : insight into four key programmes of Inserm (Infectious Diseases, Climate Change and Health, Psychiatry and Healthy Ageing). In partnership with UNESCO

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The third SDG aims to ensure the health and well-being of all, by improving reproductive, maternal and child health, by reducing the main communicable, non-communicable, environmental and mental diseases. Health Research is key to attaining the SDGs, and its 13 targets.

Inserm is the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in France. Its’ one goal: to improve the health of all by advancing knowledge of life and disease, innovation in treatment, and public health research. In partnership with UNESCO, in a panel chaired by Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, four top researchers and directors of thematic institutes at Inserm, will present the ways in which their health research contributes to reaching the SDGs, setting up platforms for international scientific collaboration, promoting partnerships and shedding light on ‘4 health pillars’ of concern to societies.
4 Pillars and challenges to Health ResearchIn collaboration with Inserm, UNESCO is organising this panel during the Science Summit at the UNGA 76 on 24 September 2021 from 12pm-1:30 pm, on addressing four key challenges to Health research, namely infectious diseases, climate change and health, psychiatry, and the healthy ageing.
1° In mental health: The OMS clearly states: there is no overall health without mental health, which is explicitly targeted in the SDG3. However, research in mental health is critically under-funded. This can have dramatic consequences at a time when mental health issues have considerably increased with COVID. Yet investment in research in psychiatry would benefit in return to all sectors of society. Pr Marion Leboyer, a leader in the field of psychiatry in France, will present the priorities of the European roadmap for research in psychiatry and the French “PROPSY” project which aims to carry out research and innovation in the service of mental health.
2° In healthy ageing: The recent evolution of human demography and global changes, with in return impacts on health, represent worldwide challenges. Should societies fail to address these challenges, aging may constitute a self-amplifying mechanism of increasing poor health and social inequalities. Fighting the deleterious effects of aging is a major marker of worldwide identity as part of a One Health strategy. With recent tremendous progress in understanding the basic biological mechanisms, the time is right for investment in aging biology research to find solutions at the crossroads of several SDGs. Pr Eric Gilson, who won the Inserm Grand Prize in 2019, will present the programs “BioAgir” and “InterAging”, mobilizing innovative scientific approaches based on the most recent advances of aging biology to prevent and treat age-related diseases with an aim to build an international coalition.
3° In climate change and health: Climate change is likely to affect health through various mechanisms. Those currently identified include extreme temperatures, extreme weather events, flooding, drought, changes in the suitability of climate for disease transmission and in the distribution of infectious diseases vectors, food security... Dr Rémy Slama, director of the Public Health Thematic Institute, will briefly present the available evidence regarding these mechanisms of action of climate change on health. In addition, he will argue for the importance of considering health and equity in designing policies to adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, many countries have committed to reducing such emissions in the next decades, as part of the application of Paris climate agreement. The changes towards a carbon neutral society will imply to deeply modify the sectors of activity with the highest greenhouse gas emission levels, which include transportation, agriculture, energy production, industrial production. All are deeply connected with health (agriculture through diet, energy production through air pollution, transportation through physical activity and pollution…), and changes in these sectors could help improve public health and reach some of the SDGs. For this reason, climate change is at the same time a threat and a potential opportunity for public health.
4° In emerging infectious diseases: After the rapid succession of emerging and re-merging infectious diseases with pandemic potential in the 2000s, and the great amplitude of the Covid-19 crisis, the French government decided to create a new autonomous agency of the Inserm: the ANRS|Emerging infectious diseases. Created on Jan. 1st, 2021 as a merger between the consortium REACTing specialized in preparedness and response, and the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS), Dr. Hervé Raoul, Deputy Head of the Agency, will present the new agency which now includes emerging infectious diseases. Its missions are to fund, evaluate and coordinate research. To fulfil its missions the agency is involved in numerous international networks (GLoPID-R, EDCTP, ISIDORE). Furthermore, it is part of an ambitious high-priority research program dedicated to emerging infectious diseases to strengthen epidemic preparedness and management. It comprises 4 objectives: acquisition of basic knowledge, strengthen infrastructures and networks, introduce a preparation and response strategy, boost innovative public health strategies. These international partnerships and programs are a strong and pluridisciplinary framework to structure the development of the new agency.
Outcomes proposed from the meeting 
  • 1. Showcase innovative research taking place in projects, programs and initiatives in these four key challenges of health research
  • 2. Discuss opportunities and proposed strategies to support interdisciplinary approaches
  • 3. Provide networking opportunities to strengthen the scientific community and their impact on world society and establish cooperation for future research and development projects.
  • 4. Contribute to the development of a road map for enhancing policy environments and mechanisms to support interdisciplinary health research translation and bridge the “Know Do” gap in the global south.

avatar for Marion Leboyer

Marion Leboyer

Professor of Psychiatry, INSERM
Marion Leboyer, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Paris Est (UPEC) in Créteil, France. She is head of the University-affiliated department of Psychiatry (Hôpitaux Universitaires Mondor, Assistance-Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris). She also runs the laboratory... Read More →
avatar for Eric Gilson

Eric Gilson

university professor-hospital practitioner, Côte d´Azur University
Eric Gilson is university professor-hospital practitioner (PU-PH) at the Côte d´Azur University and the Department of Medical Genetics, Nice University Hospital. He is internationally renowned for his pioneering research on telomeres and links with cancer and aging.He was awarded... Read More →
avatar for Shamila Nair-Bedouelle

Shamila Nair-Bedouelle

Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO
Shamila Nair-Bedouelle took up her new duties as Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences on 1 April 2019.She comes to UNESCO from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where she had served as Director of the OzonAction programme since 2012. Responsible for implementing... Read More →
avatar for Rémy Slama

Rémy Slama

Senior Investigator, Inserm
Rémy Slama (PhD) is Senior Investigator at Inserm (the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, the main research institution dedicated to biomedical research in the EU) where he leads the Inserm-Grenoble-Alpes University joint research team in Environmental Epidemiology... Read More →
avatar for Hervé RAOUL


Assistant Director of ANRS MIE (French National Agency for Research on AIDS - Emerging Infectious Diseases), French National Agency for Research on AIDS - Emerging Infectious Diseases (ANRS MIE)
PhD in biology of blood cells from Paris VII University obtained in 1995 and accreditation to supervise research at the Paris XI University in 2000.From 1989 to 1997, laboratory of Experimental Neurology and Neurovirology at CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) working on the consequences... Read More →

Friday September 24, 2021 12:00pm - 1:30pm CEST