» Princess Sumaya of Jordan champions science as a human right
22.11.2018 - Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors

Princess Sumaya of Jordan champions science as a human right

©UNESCO, 9 November 2018

A panel discussion on the theme “Science, a Human Right", was held at UNESCO Headquarters on 9 November last to celebrate the World Science Day for Peace and Development.

In addition to UNESCO Special Envoy for Science for Peace Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, this panel discussion, which was chaired by the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences of UNESCO Ms Flavia Schlegel, featured Mr Xing Qu, UNESCO Deputy Director-General and Mr Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal.

The speakers addressed the issue of science as a human right, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They discussed in particular article 27 on the right to participate in the scientific life and the right to access the benefits of scientific progress by everyone.

Mr Xing Qu, Deputy Director General of UNESCO, called for a shared scientific information: “With an increasing scepticism of the role of experts, there is a real urgency to make scientific research accessible and understandable.”

Addressing the right of everyone to participate in scientific life, Princess Sumaya of Jordan stressed that “As we face great challenges, we must unlock the full, positive potential of humanity, or risk a mire of untapped, innovative talent continuing to paralyse holistic and systemic responses to grave challenges.” 

This advocacy speech of Princess Sumaya of Jordan is in line with her mandate as UNESCO Special Envoy for Science for Peace, to enhance positive changes in societies, and strengthen the development of scientific thinking in her native country and beyond.

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