UNESCO’s Executive Board examining programme execution over past 16 months
UNESCO’s Executive Board is meeting at the Organization’s headquarters in Paris from 3 to 19 May to examine the execution of the Organization’s programme since January 2010. Africa remains a priority focus for UNESCO’s work. A major challenge remains to secure extrabudgetary resources to complement the regular programme budget, in particular for the African Virtual Campus flagship project.
Highlights of the programme to leverage science through an integrated science, technology and innovation policy include a special grant from the Government of Nigeria to enable six selected universities to reform and upgrade their institutions to world-class level, on the recommendation of UNESCO. In addition, the recommendation to establish a Nigerian National Science Foundation has been included in the country’s Economic Transformation Blueprint, Vision 2020, and UNESCO has been selected as collaborating agency for its implementation.
In order to ensure the sustainability of the Tanzania science reform programme coordinated by UNESCO through the One United Nations Programme, UNESCO launched a project for Strengthening Capacities for the Reform of the Science and Innovation System of Tanzania.
UNESCO also co-organized the Conference on Science with Africa II (Addis Ababa, June), with a focus on innovation as well as the side event on the Role of Science Academies in the socio-economic development of Africa.
UNESCO also provided Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Gambia with technical assistance on science park and technology business incubator development. UNESCO also conducted an international training workshop in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, and a regional workshop on science park governance for Latin America and the Caribbean in San José, Costa Rica. Meanwhile, a regional centre for the development of science parks and technology business incubators has also been established in Isfahan in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The UNESCO Science Report 2010 was launched on World Science Day for Peace and Development at UNESCO headquarters and in many field offices. Acclaimed in prestigious international news journals, the report takes stock of the state of science around the world and highlights the increasing scientific capability of countries with emerging economies, reflecting a shift in the balance of investment in science and hence in influence away from North America, Europe and Japan.
As coordinator of the United Nations Science and Technology Cluster of 13 United Nations agencies supporting the African Union’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, UNESCO held a first national workshop on science and technology for attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Rwanda under the United Nations’ Delivering as One umbrella. This workshop brought together all the United Nations agencies present in the country as well as the Rwandan Ministry for Education, Science and Technology. In addition, a workshop on science and technology in One UN countries led to the establishment of the Rwanda National Innovation Endowment Fund.
Over 80 policy-makers were trained in evidence-based policy-making at workshops co-organized by UNESCO for 15 countries belonging to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) including a sub-regional workshop in May 2010.
In addition, two regional policy forums were held in the Mediterranean and in South-South East Asia, which were attended by over 20 parliamentarians and more than 30 scientists. These led to the creation of a regional network of parliamentarians, scientists and other stakeholders.
For full details of the programme’s execution over the past 16 months, read the report by the Director-Genreal on the Execution of the Programme Adopted by the General Conference (in November 2009), ENG, FRE, SPA, RUS, ARA, CHI