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World Science Day for Peace and Development
10 November

UNESCO Director-General's Message for 2015


This World Science Day for Peace and Development comes two months after agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This new agenda embodies a new vision for humanity, for the planet, for peace, for the next 15 years – science stands at its heart as a force for positive transformation and a development multiplier.

All Governments recognise today the power of science to provide key answers for the better management of water, for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, for the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, to tackle climate change and disasters, to foster innovation and to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality. To make the most of this power, we need to understand more clearly the global landscape of science and we need better tools to monitor progress.

This is the importance of the UNESCO Science Report, issued every five years, to identify trends in science, technology and innovation, across every region.

 We launch this new edition on World Science Day for Peace and Development, to highlight the rising focus on science, technology and innovation by countries at all levels of development. Growing concerns with recurrent drought, flooding, hurricanes and other natural phenomena have led Governments to adopt strategies at both national and regional levels to protect agriculture, reduce disaster risks and diversify national energy mixes. Rising investment in the sciences reflects greater recognition of the need to build green societies along with green economies, bringing together changes in policy and legislation as well as values and behaviours.

These questions will be addressed in the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) to be held in Paris, when leaders from across the world will gather to adopt a new agreement on international cooperation to mitigate the consequences of climate change. Science, technology and innovation is essential here, and we must do everything to support societies across the world, on every continent, to create and share knowledge. The 2030 Agenda, with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, calls for new efforts to build robust national science, technology and innovation policies and systems, to facilitate the transfer of technology and solutions, to which UNESCO is fully committed.

This is the message of the UNESCO Science Report and this World Science Day for Peace and Development, and I invite everyone to join us in taking this across the world, to build a better future for all.

Irina Bokova

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