On international day, UN urges greater focus on scientific development for peace

World Science Day for Peace and Development 2012. Illustration: UNESCO

10 November 2012 – Marking the World Science Day for Peace and Development, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today called for a greater global focus on scientific development, noting that only through science would humanity find the answers to its seemingly “insurmountable” challenges.

“Science is our best asset for supporting inclusive and equitable development, and for building global sustainability at a time of uncertainty, and faced with biophysical limits of the planet,” said UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, in a message to mark the Day, the theme for which this year is 'Science for Global Sustainability Interconnectedness, Collaboration, Transformation.'

“We must also place science at the service of all, while observing the fundamental rights of the individual,” Ms. Bokova added. “Above all, we must open a new chapter in scientific integration.”

Established by the UNESCO General Conference in 2001 with the purpose of renewing a global commitment to science as a tool to benefit society, the World Day also seeks to raise public awareness of science's importance and to bridge the gap between science and societies.

In her message, Ms. Bokova noted that an increasingly complex and interconnected global community required more cooperative and better integrated approaches combining the progress made in separate scientific fields.

“Innovation and social transformation depend on our capacity to combine disciplines and create synergies among all sciences,” she stated, adding that “sustainability will come through multidisciplinarity.”

UNESCO has been playing a leading role in promoting trandisciplinarity as a cornerstone of the world body's global push on sustainability and, ten years after the first World Science Day for Peace and Development, the UN official emphasized that the agency remained committed to its mission.

“It is this spirit that I call today on government, civil society, public and private actors, well beyond scientific circles, to mobilize so as to release the full potential of all sciences for development and peace, which are inseparable and essential for the future that we want,” Ms. Bokova said.


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