One of the most important roles that the IGU plays is through its membership of the International Council for Science (ICSU). ICSU’s mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society and it is vital that geographers are represented here so that we can make a contribution to the global science research agenda. ICSU has a number of major inter-disciplinary programmes and, through its diverse partnerships, aims (among other things) to identify and address major issues of importance to science and society and provide independent, authoritative advice to stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific community and governments, civil society, and the private sector. The IGU has taken its place here at the General Assembly, which is being held in Auckland, New Zealand. The Royal Society hosted a dinner on the eve of the General Assembly and the delegates were addressed by New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key.