05.12.2011 - ODG

Science for peace and development in the Middle East

© UNESCO/Danica BijeljacUNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova and Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan at the opening of the Malta V Conference held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, 5 December 2011

“Science holds answers to key questions about equitable and inclusive growth, about the resilience of our societies, about sustainable development,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova addressing the Malta V Conference held in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 5 to 8 December.

The conference “Frontiers of Chemical Sciences: Research and Education in the Middle East” is the fifth in a series commonly referred to as the Malta Conferences. These conferences use science as a bridge to peace in the Middle East. “UNESCO is strongly committed to the pursuit of a culture of peace through science,” said Irina Bokova referring to the intergovernmental SESAME Centre set up in Jordan under the auspices of UNESCO.

Organized in the framework of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 this conference was opened by Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. It brings together over 60 participants from 15 countries from the Middle East region (Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Kuwait, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and United Arab Emirates) and four Nobel Laureates, namely Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (France) 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, Richard Ernst (Switzerland) 1991 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dudley Herschbach (USA) 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Jean-Marie Lehn (France) 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

“This Malta Conference is an opportunity for us to take a firm stand for science to become a peaceful lever for change to the benefit of all,” affirmed the Director-General.

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