Multilateralism is coming under increased strain. Developing a response to global challenges in recent years has highlighted the limitations of the multilateral system, which is designed in the middle of the last century. The challenges present in today’s world are very sophisticated and need responses much newer than the multilateral system is capable of delivering. In addition, nation-states are inclined to pursue ideologically driven agendas which don’t broker much accommodation for evidence-based policy-making.

There is quite a lot of discussion and talk about global science. However, it is very difficult to pin down precisely what global is. There are certainly no global policy instruments focused on delivering any reasonable definition of science. There is quite a lot of areas much discussion around what passes for global science. This tends to come from national funding agencies, which by definition are tied to funding national activities and not international ones. The current war in Ukraine hinder the entire global multilateral system, leaving little time or energy for discussing science and other not so urgent domains.

The modest contribution of ISC to global science focuses on lobbying for the inclusion of science at the multilateral level. This includes the United Nations general assembly, the European Union and the African, as well as related agencies and fora.