09.06.2015 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UNESCO brings together its Natural Sciences Category 2 Centres and Chairs to promote interaction and knowledge exchange in Asia and the Pacific region

UNESCO, in collaboration with the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation under the Auspices of UNESCO (ISTIC) and the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), organized a workshop on the promotion of interaction and knowledge exchange for strengthening South-South cooperation between Natural Sciences Category 2 Centres and Chairs in Asia and the Pacific region, linking with Africa.

UNESCO Category 2 Centres and Chairs, perform research and training, contribute to the execution of UNESCO's objectives and priorities as stated in the UNESCO Medium Term Strategy, and increase the participation of national and regional institutions in UNESCO's work. The Natural Sciences Category 2 Centres and Chairs have the capacity to provide a tangible contribution towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Post-2015 Development Agenda framework. In Asia and the Pacific region, their dissemination is also an added value to strengthen North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.

The workshop held on 26 and 27 May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was attended by 15 representatives of Category 2 Centers and Chairs form Asia-Pacific and Africa and brought together a total of 61 international and Malaysian participants.

The workshop was opened by Dato Ir. Lee Yee Cheong, Chairman of the ISTIC Governing Board, followed by Prof. Mohamed H. A. Hassan, Chairman of the Council of the United Nations University (UNU). Prof. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation at UTM, Mr. Shahbaz Khan, OIC at UNESCO Office Jakarta and Mr. Mohd Khairul Adib bin Abdul Rahman, Secretary General of the Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO contributed to the opening and welcome remarks.

The first session included keynote presentations on the UNESCO Natural Sciences Support Strategy for Asia and the Pacific by Mr Khan, the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint Programme by Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Mohd Saleh Jaafar, Adviser of the Malaysia Ministry of Education, and Post-2015 Development Agenda and Science Technology and Innovation (STI) by Dato Ir. Lee Yee Cheong.

The workshop continued with an introduction of the Natural Sciences Category 2 Centers under the auspices of UNESCO participating in the meeting, coming from Malaysia, China, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria and Kenya. Then the Natural Sciences Chairs from India, Japan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Sudan presented their work related to UNESCO. One of the key participations during the Chairs presentations was the connection with Dr. R. K. Pachauri via teleconference. The presentations were followed by a Questions and Answers session.


On the second day, the participants were divided into three breakout groups to discuss on “Developing a UNESCO Natural Sciences Family Strategic Plan for Asia and the Pacific, “Scoping UNESCO Category 2 Centers and Chairs in Malaysia”, and “Delivering together” respectively. A rapporteur from each group presented the main conclusions of the discussion to the rest of the participants and the session finished by a general open discussion.

Finally, Mr Khan presented a summary and conclusions of the workshop and suggested a series of recommendations on networking among and between the UNESCO Natural Sciences Family in the region.

The event was closed by Dr Roseli from HTC-KL and Ms Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences. Ms Schlegel acknowledged and congratulated the excellent cooperation by the Government of Malaysia, Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO, ISTIC, HTC, UTM, and other Centers and Chairs leading to the successful event. The UNESCO Natural Sciences Family, strengthened by the active networking during the workshop, will play a critical role in the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Natural Sciences partnership spans across not only Asia and the Pacific region but is also linked with Africa. The joint activities across regions will continue to be supported by UNESCO towards the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Click here to download the draft document on UNESCO Natural Sciences Category 2 Centres and Chairs in Asia and the Pacific

For more information, please contact Mr. Shahbaz Khan (s.khan(at)unesco.org)

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