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World Science Day for Peace and Development
10 November

UNESCO Director-General's Message for 2013

Today, in a world changing quickly, on a planet under pressure, we need more science, we need more scientists. Science is a force that brings people together, to join hands in the pursuit of knowledge. Science is our best ally to tackle the consequences of climate change, to foster the innovation all societies need today.

This is UNESCO’s message on World Science Day, and it guides all our work to harness the power of the sciences for lasting peace and sustainable development. In this International Year of Water Cooperation, we focus on sharing knowledge, data and innovation, around water. Water is our most precious resource, essential to life and human development.

There is enough water in the world – our challenge is to share and manage it sustainably and together. We believe that sharing data, knowledge and innovation is key to the sustainable management of water. Cooperation brings new ideas, it catalyses innovative solutions and it fosters new ways of working. As they collect and disseminate data, scientists transform information into knowledge, to build stronger policies for the benefit of all. Linking science more tightly with policy is the goal of the new Scientific Advisory Board, launched by the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, to be taken forward by UNESCO.

Water cooperation is not only a technical or scientific issue. It is about supporting human rights. It is about preventing disease and promoting gender equality, it is about fighting poverty. Fundamentally, it is about strengthening the foundations for peace, through cooperation between States and across regions. These goals guide UNESCO as it leads the International Year of Water Cooperation on behalf of UN Water.

Together, we will continue to strengthen the link between science and policy, in order to make the most of scientific cooperation as a force for peace and development. Water resources pay no heed to borders – our cooperation must be guided by the spirit of solidarity. Together, we can harness the full power of water to strengthen human dignity and build a better future for all. This is UNESCO’s message today.

Irina Bokova

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