Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
on the occasion of the World Science Day for Peace and Development
10 November 2011
Proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference (Resolution 31C/ 20) in 2001, the World Science Day for Peace and Development is an annual event celebrated all over the world to recall the commitment made at the UNESCO-ICSU World Conference on Science (Budapest 1999).
The purpose of the World Science Day for Peace and Development is to renew the national, as well as the international commitment to science for peace and development and to stress the responsible use of science for the benefit of society. The World Science Day for Peace and Development also aims at raising public awareness of the importance of science and to bridge the gap between science and societies.
Science for global sustainability: interconnectedness, collaboration, transformation: such is the theme of this year’s edition of World Science Day for Peace and Development, which UNESCO is celebrating around the world on 10 November.
This theme provides an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the role that science, technology and innovation (STI) – and related national, regional and international policies – play in promoting global sustainability and peace.
World Science Day also offers an opportunity to follow up the Rio+20 outcomes, based on the recommendations in the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, entitled Resilient People, Resilient Planet: a future Worth Choosing.
International Week of Science and Peace
The International Week of Science and Peace was first observed during 1986 as part of the observance of the International Year of Peace. The organization of events and activities for the week was undertaken as a non-governmental initiative; the secretariat for the International Year of Peace was informed of the preparatory activities and the final summary of events that occurred during the week. The organizers sought to encourage the broadest possible international participation in the observance.
Based on the success of the 1986 observance, the organizers continued their efforts in successive years. In recognition of the value of the annual observance, the General Assembly adopted resolution 43/61 in December 1988, which proclaims the “International Week of Science and Peace”, to take place each year during the week in which 11 November falls. The General Assembly urged Member States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to encourage relevant institutions, associations and individuals to sponsor events and activities related to the study and dissemination of information on the links between progress in science and technology and maintenance of peace and security; urged Member States to promote international co-operation among scientists and required the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly as its forty-fifth session on the activities and initiatives of Member States and interested organizations in connection with the week.
The annual observance of the International Week of Science and Peace is making an important contribution to the promotion of peace. The Week encourages greater academic exchanges on a subject of universal importance while also generating greater awareness of the relationship of science and peace among the general public. Based on observances of Science and Peace Week to date, it may be expected that participation each year will increase, contributing to greater international understanding and opportunities for co-operation in the applications of science for the promotion of peace throughout the year.