25.06.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

Cooperation between UNESCO and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers

© UNESCO Signing ceremony

A Memorandum of Understanding was officially signed between UNESCO and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) on 21 June 2012 at the Rio+20 conference, during a side event on Educating for a sustainable future. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. The Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Gretchen Kalonji, also attended the signing ceremony as this new partner will work primarily with the UNESCO Engineering Initiative.

Engineering is a key factor for a sustainable future and the need for engineers will only be met through educational programmes and professional training with significant sustainability components, such as the projects envisaged by this partnership.

ASME is a not-for-profit organization with more than 120,000 members in over 100 countries, including 147 student chapters. Its mission is to advance, disseminate, and apply engineering knowledge from all disciplines in order to improve the quality of life for all. Through continuing education, professional training, research, publications, standards, and government outreach programs, ASME addresses the needs of its diverse membership.

In this new partnership, UNESCO and ASME will develop projects that improve engineering education standards, including best practices in engineering education, curriculum design, and teacher training. In addition, these two organizations will seek to increase public awareness about the importance of engineering as well as expand its influence in research and policy development. Lastly, this UNESCO-ASME collaboration aims to expand the capacity and efficacy of the engineering workforce as well as create new opportunities in multi-disciplinary areas. All partnership activities will build on existing programs in both organizations, with a particular focus on resources in Africa and gender equality in engineering.

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