UNESCO Venice Director welcoming address for ESOF2010
Representing 2 leading women from UNESCO: Irina Bokova, the Director General and the newly appointed Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, Gretchen Kalonji.
Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to represent today, two leading women from UNESCO: Ms Irina Bokova, the Director General and the newly appointed Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, Ms Gretchen Kalonji who just yesterday, initiated her mandate within the Organization. These personalities are clear evidence of UNESCO’s commitment towards gender equality and reinforcing the role of women within all of its fields of competence: education, science, culture and communication.
I am honored to participate in my role as Director of the Venice Office, the Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe to the opening of ESOF 2010 in Torino. As a specialized UN Agency for Education, Science, Culture, and Communication, promoting and celebrating science is a priority activity of UNESCO’s mission. Therefore, we are pleased to continue to support and contribute to ESOF, first organized in Stockholm in 2004, together with EuroScience and the European Association for the Promotion of Science and Technology. UNESCO considers ESOF an important rendezvous for science and scientists, and a model that should be exported to other regions of the world.
UNESCO is focusing on the re-strengthening of international cooperation in science and towards the establishment of peace, poverty eradication, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue. Science through research, technology and innovation and its knowledge system are driving forces for socio-economic development. Western Countries and emerging markets have realized the key role of science and education for development, but the recent global crisis has led to a decrease of commitments toward the STI system. The message, ESOF is communicating through this special event is that Europe needs to recall the importance of the Science, particularly in connection with the current major global challenges facing society such as climate change, social transformation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The mission of the UNESCO Venice Office is to encourage international scientific cooperation in Europe especially in South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Region. In view of the accelerated transformation processes of the Member States, numerous activities are oriented towards mobilising scientific knowledge and expertise; supporting national policies concerning research and innovation, higher education, the environment; establishing cross disciplinary management plans fundamental for cultural and natural heritage conservation; cultural and eco-tourism; Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage sites, as well as popularizing science for youth and encouraging women in science.
With reference to the role of women in science and young scientists, I am pleased to announce that for the ESOF2010 edition, the contributions of UNESCO Venice Office are indeed special ones. After a call for grants, 28 selected young emeritus scientists coming from South Eastern Europe and Mediterranean countries have been designated as UNESCO-TopESOF (Torino per ESOF2010, the local organiser of ESOF2010) travel grants recipients. These grants were elaborated so to provide opportunities for young scientists to participate and experience this pan-European event in order to establish ties within the international science society and to liaise their country of origin to the international world of Science.
Moreover, UNESCO’s contribution to the ‘Career of Scientists’ and ‘Women in Science’ Sessions underlines the Organization’s pledge towards the advancement of Science by enabling the younger generations and women to have fundamental roles. With the participation of Ada Yonath, 2008 UNESCO-L’Oreal Prize for Women in Science Laureate for Europe and 2009 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, the public and media will also have a firsthand opportunity to learn more about the building of global scientific partnerships and the important role women play in this field.
UNESCO intends to strengthen the communication of science for society and decision making processes and is pleased to be present during ESOF with a series of activities focused on politics and people, especially youth and woman. The ultimate role of science for society and economy is the knowledge transfer and awareness rising, having in mind the overarching target to contribute to the creation of added values and benefit for all people.
Dear ESOF 2010 participants;
Your duty and responsibility is to facilitate sustainable development and serve society. In this respect, I wish all of you continued insight and expanding and encouraging new contacts, but also a wish to renew fun, enthusiasm and creativity in science.
Engelbert Ruoss, Director UNESCO Venice Office
Visit ESOF2010 website at : http://www.esof2010.org/