13.09.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

First meeting of High Panel on Science for Development

© UNESCO/Danica Bijeljac - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova during the first meeting of UNESCO’s High Panel on Science and Development on 15 September 2011 at the Organization’s Headquarters

Renowned scientists, decision-makers and intellectuals from all over the world make up UNESCO’s High Panel on Science for Development, which will hold its first meeting at the Organization’s Headquarters on 15 and 16 September. Its role is to identify current challenges in the social and natural sciences so as to help UNESCO fine-tune its response.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will open the meeting of the High Panel whose members include Indira Samarasekera, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta (Canada), José Sarukhán Kermez, National Coordinator of Mexico’s National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO); Ahmadou Lamine N’Diaye, President of the African Academy of Science; Gong Ke, President of the University of Nankai (China); and Partha Dasgupta, Professor of Economics, Cambridge University (UK).

During the first day of the meeting, the experts will discuss trends in the sciences and the role of UNESCO in the present environment. On the following morning, the Permanent Delegations of UNESCO’s Member States will meet the members of the High Panel during two sessions entitled: “Mobilizing international science to address pressing interdisciplinary challenges facing our societies,” and “Models for capacity building in science, technology and innovation.”. This session, moderated par Jose Mariano Gago, former Minister of Science (Portugal), will be open to the public.

The High Panel will meet twice a year. Its members include 28 personalities who have achieved eminence in their field of expertise. The 15 and 16 September meeting at UNESCO will bring together 17 of these experts. In a world of science that is in constant flux, they will provide UNESCO with guidelines for the development of working strategies to promote sustainable development and advance the fight for the eradication of poverty. New partnerships with the private sector, civil society and academe are also to be examined




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