For many countries, taking steps to achieving sustainable development over the next decade has become a priority, and one scientist suggested to CNBC that having more women in scientific fields and research could speed things up.
Science is the basis for sustainable development, according to Nisreen El-Hashemite, founder and president of Women in Science International League.
"We need to empower women in science, and to achieve parity in science, if we want to transform our world in 2030," El-Hashemite told CNBC's "The Rundown."
One of the highlights of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015, is the importance of maximizing the potential of women and girls through access to education, economic resources, political participation and providing them equal opportunities for employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels.
El-Hashemite is a medically trained doctor and scientist and is also a member of the Iraqi royal family — her grandfather, King Faisal I, was the first king of modern Iraq.
While science and scientific research can lead to new discoveries that can help with achieving sustainable development, the field remains dominated by men.
Data from UNESCO Institute of Statistics, as of July 2015, indicated women constituted a minority in the research world, had less access to funding than men and tend to be less represented in prestigious universities and among senior faculty. This put them at a disadvantage when it comes to high-impact publishing of their research.