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SCIENCE AGENDA-FRAMEWORK
FOR ACTION

Text adopted by the World Conference on Science
1 July  1999. Definitive version

PREAMBLE

1. SCIENCE FOR KNOWLEDGE; KNOWLEDGE FOR PROGRESS

1.1 Role of fundamental research
1.2 The public and private sectors
1.3 Sharing scientific information and knowledge

2.   SCIENCE FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

2.1 Science for basic human needs
2.2 Science, environment and sustainable development
2.3 Science and technology
2.4 Science education
2.5 Science for peace and conflict resolution
2.6 Science and policy

3.   SCIENCE IN SOCIETY AND SCIENCE FOR SOCIETY

3.1 Social requirements and human dignity
3.2 Ethical issues
3.3 Widening participation in science
3.4 Modern science and other systems of knowledge

FOLLOW UP

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PREAMBLE      back to Top

  1. We, participants in the World Conference on Science for the Twenty-First Century: A New Commitment, assembled in Budapest, Hungary, from 26 June to 1 July 1999 under the aegis of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council for Science (ICSU), state the following:

  2. Advancing the objectives of international peace and the common welfare of humankind is one of the highest and most noble goals of our societies. The creation of UNESCO and of ICSU, more than half a century ago, was a symbol of the international determination to advance these objectives through scientific, educational and cultural relations among the peoples of the world.

  3. The above objectives are as valid now as they were 50 years ago. However, while the means of achieving them have developed considerably over this half-century through scientific and technological progress, so have the means of threatening and compromising them. In the meantime, the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental context has also changed profoundly, and the role of the sciences (natural sciences such as physical, earth and biological sciences, biomedical and engineering sciences, social and human sciences) in this changed context needs to be collectively defined and pursued: hence the grounds for a new commitment.

Having adopted the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge, and inspired by the Introductory Note to the Science Agenda - Framework for Action,

  1. We agree, by common consent, to the present Science Agenda - Framework for Action, as guidelines and instruments for action to achieve the goals proclaimed in the Declaration.

  2. We consider that the guidelines for action formulated hereafter provide a framework for dealing with the problems, challenges and opportunities confronting scientific research and for the furthering of existing and new partnerships, both national and international, between all actors in the scientific endeavour. Such research efforts and partnerships must be consistent with the needs, aspirations and values of humankind and respect for nature and future generations, in the pursuit of lasting peace, equity and sustainable development.

1. SCIENCE FOR KNOWLEDGE; KNOWLEDGE FOR PROGRESS     back to Contents 1.

  1. We commit ourselves to the advancement of knowledge. We want this knowledge to be at the service of humanity as a whole, and to produce a better quality of life for present and future generations.

1.1 Role of fundamental research      back to Contents 1.

  1. Each country should aim at having high-quality scientific institutions capable of providing research and training facilities in areas of specific interest. In those cases where countries are unable to create such institutions, the necessary support should be granted by the international community, through partnership and cooperation.

  2. The conduct of scientific research should be supported by an appropriate legal framework at the national and international level. Freedom of opinion and protection of intellectual rights are particularly important in this respect.

  3. Research groups and institutions and relevant non-governmental organizations should strengthen their regional and international cooperation activities, with a view to: facilitating scientific training; sharing expensive facilities; promoting the dissemination of scientific information; exchanging scientific knowledge and data, notably between developed and developing countries; and jointly addressing problems of global concern.

  4. Universities should ensure that their programmes in all fields of science focus on both education and research and the synergies between them and introduce research as part of science education. Communication skills and exposure to social sciences should also be a part of the education of scientists.

  5. In the new context of increased globalization and international networking the universities are faced not only with new opportunities but also with challenges. For example, universities play an increasingly important role in the innovation system. Universities are responsible for educating a highly skilled workforce for the future and equipping their students with the capabilities needed to deal with global issues. They should also be flexible and regularly update their knowledge. Universities in developed and developing countries should intensify their cooperation, for example through twinning arrangements. UNESCO could act as a clearing house and facilitator.

  6. Donor countries and agencies of the United Nations system are urged to foster cooperation in order to improve the quality and efficiency of their support to research in developing countries. Their joint effort should be focused on strengthening national research systems, taking into account national priorities and science policies.

  7. Professional organizations of scientists, such as national and international academies, scientific unions and learned societies, have an important role to play in the promotion of research, for which they should be given wide recognition and corresponding public support. Such organizations should be encouraged to further international collaboration on questions of universal concern. They should also be encouraged to be the advocates of the freedom of scientists to express their opinions.

1.2 The public and private sectors      back to Contents 1.

  1. Through participatory mechanisms involving all relevant sectors and stakeholders, governments should identify the needs of the nation and give priority to support for the public research needed to achieve progress in the various fields, ensuring stable funding for the purpose. Parliaments should adopt corresponding measures and levels of budget appropriation.

  2. Governments and the private sector should achieve an adequate balance between the various mechanisms for funding scientific research, and new funding possibilities should be explored or promoted through appropriate regulation and incentive schemes, with public-private partnerships based on flexible schemes, and governments guaranteeing the accessibility of generated knowledge.

  3. There should be close dialogue between donors and recipients of S&T funding. Universities, research institutes and industry should develop closer cooperation; financing of S&T projects should be promoted as a means of advancing knowledge and strengthening science-based industry.

1.3 Sharing scientific information and knowledge     back to Contents 1.

  1. Scientists, research institutions and learned scientific societies and other relevant non-governmental organizations should commit themselves to increased international collaboration, including the exchange of knowledge and expertise. Initiatives to facilitate access to scientific information sources by scientists and institutions in the developing countries should be especially encouraged and supported. Initiatives to fully incorporate women scientists and other disadvantaged groups from the South and North into scientific networks should be implemented. In this context efforts should be made to ensure that results of publicly-funded research will be made accessible.

  2. Countries that have the necessary expertise should promote the sharing and transfer of knowledge, in particular through support to specific programmes set up for the training of scientists worldwide.

  3. The publication and wider dissemination of the results of scientific research carried out in the developing countries should be facilitated, with the support of developed countries, through training, the exchange of information and the development of bibliographic services and information systems better serving the needs of scientific communities around the world.

  4. Research and education institutions should take account of the new information and communication technologies, assess their impact and promote their use, for example through the development of electronic publishing and the establishment of virtual research and teaching environments or digital libraries. Science curricula should be adapted to take into account the impact of these new technologies on scientific work. The establishment of an international programme on Internet-enabled science and vocational education and teaching, alongside the conventional system, should be considered in order to redress the limitations of educational infrastructure and to bring high-quality science education to remote locations.

  5. The research community should be involved in regular discussion with the publishing, library and information technology communities to ensure that the authenticity and integrity of scientific literature are not lost with the evolution of the electronic information system. The dissemination and sharing of scientific knowledge are an essential part of the research process, and governments and funding agencies should therefore ensure that relevant infrastructure and other costs are adequately covered in research budgets. Appropriate legal frameworks are necessary as well.

2. SCIENCE FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT      Back to Contents 2.

  1. Today, more than ever, the natural and social sciences and their applications are indispensable to development. Worldwide cooperation among scientists is a valuable and constructive contribution to global security and to the development of peaceful interactions among different nations, societies and cultures.

2.1 Science for basic human needs      Back to Contents 2.

  1. Research specifically aimed at addressing the basic needs of the population should be a permanent chapter in every country’s development agenda. In defining research priorities, the developing countries and countries in transition should consider not only their needs and weaknesses in terms of scientific capacity and information, but also their own strengths in terms of local knowledge, know-how and human and natural resources.

  2. For a country to have the capacity to provide for the basic needs of its population, science and technology education is a strategic necessity. As part of this education, students should learn to solve specific problems and to address the needs of society by utilizing scientific and technological knowledge and skills.

  3. Industrialized countries should cooperate with developing countries through jointly defined S&T projects that respond to the basic problems of the population in the latter. Careful impact studies should be conducted to ensure better planning and implementation of development projects. Personnel engaged in such projects should receive training of relevance to their work.

  4. All countries should share scientific knowledge and cooperate to reduce avoidable ill-health throughout the world. Each country should assess and so identify the health improvement priorities that are best suited to their own circumstances. National and regional research programmes aimed at reducing variations in health among communities, such as collecting good epidemiological and other statistical data and communicating corresponding best practice to those who can use it, should be introduced.

  5. Innovative and cost-effective mechanisms for funding science and pooling the S&T resources and efforts of different nations should be examined with a view to their implementation by relevant institutions at the regional and international levels. Networks for human resources interchange, both North-South and South-South, should be set up. These networks should be so designed as to encourage scientists to use their expertise for the benefit of their own countries.

  6. Donor countries, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies should strengthen their programmes involving science to address pressing developmental problems as indicated in this Science Agenda while maintaining high quality standards.

2.2 Science, environment and sustainable development    Back to Contents 2.

  1. National, regional and global environmental research programmes should be strengthened or developed, as appropriate, by governments, concerned United Nations agencies, the scientific community and private and public research funding institutions. These research programmes should include programmes for capacity-building. Areas requiring special attention include the freshwater issue and the hydrological cycle, climate variations and change, oceans, coastal areas, polar regions, biodiversity, desertification, deforestation, biogeochemical cycles and natural hazards. The goals of the existing international global environmental research programmes should be vigorously pursued within the framework of Agenda 21 and the action plans of the global conferences. Cooperation between neighbouring countries or among countries having similar ecological conditions must be supported in the solution of common environmental problems.

  2. All components of the earth system must be monitored systematically on a long-term basis; this requires enhanced support by governments and the private sector for the further development of the global environmental observing systems. The effectiveness of monitoring programmes depends crucially on the wide availability of monitored data.

  3. Interdisciplinary research involving both the natural and the social sciences must be vigorously enhanced by all major actors concerned, including the private sector, to address the human dimension of global environmental change, including health impacts, and to improve understanding of sustainability as conditioned by natural systems. Insights into the concept of sustainable consumption also demand the interaction of natural sciences with social and political scientists, economists and demographers.

  4. Modern scientific knowledge and traditional knowledge should be brought closer together in interdisciplinary projects dealing with the links between culture, environment and development in such areas as the conservation of biological diversity, management of natural resources, understanding of natural hazards and mitigation of their impact. Local communities and other relevant players should be involved in these projects. Individual scientists and the scientific community have a responsibility to communicate in clear language the scientific explanations of these issues and the ways in which science can play a key role in addressing them.

  5. Governments, in co-operation with universities and higher education institutions, and with the help of relevant United Nations organizations, should extend and improve education, training and facilities for human resources development in environment-related sciences, also utilizing traditional and local knowledge. Special efforts in this respect are required in developing countries, with the cooperation of the international community.

  6. All countries should emphasize capacity-building in vulnerability and risk assessment, early warning of both short-lived natural disasters and long-term hazards of environmental change, improved preparedness, adaptation, mitigation of their effects and integration of disaster management into national development planning. It is important, however, to bear in mind that we live in a complex world with an inherent uncertainty about long-term trends. Decision-makers must take this into account and therefore encourage the development of new forecasting and monitoring strategies. The precautionary principle is an important guiding principle in handling inevitable scientific uncertainty, especially in situations of potentially irreversible or catastrophic impacts.

  7. S&T research on clean and sustainable technologies, recycling, renewable energy resources and efficient use of energy should be strongly supported by the public and private sectors at national and international levels. Competent international organizations, including UNESCO and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), should promote the establishment of a freely accessible virtual library on sustainable technologies.

2.3 Science and technology      Back to Contents 2.

  1. National authorities and the private sector should support university-industry partnerships also involving research institutes and medium, small and micro-enterprises, for promoting innovation, accelerating returns from science and generating benefits for all the participants.

  2. Curricula relating to science and technology should encourage a scientific approach to problem-solving. University-industry cooperation should be promoted to assist engineering education and continuing vocational education and to enhance responsiveness to the needs of industry and support from industry to the education sector.

  3. Countries should adopt best practices for advancing innovation, in a manner best suited to their needs and resources. Innovation is no longer a linear process arising from a single advance in science; it requires a systems approach involving partnerships, linkages between many areas of knowledge and constant feedback between many players. Possible initiatives include cooperative research centres and research networks, technology "incubators" and research parks, and transfer and advisory bodies for small and medium enterprises. Specific policy instruments, including initiatives to encourage national innovation systems to address science-technology links, should be developed taking into account global economic and technological changes. Science policy should promote the incorporation of knowledge into social and productive activities. It is imperative to tackle the issue of the endogenous generation of technologies starting from problems faced by developing countries. This implies that these countries should have resources available to become generators of technologies.

  4. Acceleration of technology transfer to promote industrial, economic and social development should be supported through the mobility of professionals between universities and industry and between countries, as well as through research networks and inter-firm partnerships.

  5. Greater emphasis should be placed by governments and institutions of higher learning on engineering, technological and vocational education, also in the form of lifelong learning and through the means of international cooperation. New curriculum profiles which are consistent with the requirements of employers and attractive to youth should be defined. In order to mitigate the adverse impact of asymmetric migration of trained personnel from the developing to the developed countries and also to sustain high-quality education and research in developing countries, UNESCO could catalyse more symmetric and closer interaction of S&T personnel across the world and the establishment of world-class education and research infrastructure in the developing countries.

2.4 Science education      Back to Contents 2.

  1. 41. Governments should accord the highest priority to improving science education at all levels, with particular attention to the elimination of the effects of gender bias and bias against disadvantaged groups, raising public awareness of science and fostering its popularization. Steps need to be taken to promote the professional development of teachers and educators in the face of change and special efforts should be made to address the lack of appropriately trained science teachers and educators, in particular in developing countries.

  2. 42. Science teachers at all levels and personnel involved in informal science education should have access to continuous updating of their knowledge for the best possible performance of their educational tasks.

  3. 43. New curricula, teaching methodologies and resources taking into account gender and cultural diversity should be developed by national education systems in response to the changing educational needs of societies. Research in science and technology education needs to be furthered nationally and internationally through the establishment and networking of specialized centres around the world, with the cooperation of UNESCO and other relevant international organizations.

  4. 44. Educational institutions should encourage the contribution of students to decision-making concerning education and research.

  5. 45. Governments should provide increased support to regional and international programmes of higher education and to networking of graduate and postgraduate institutions, with special emphasis on North-South and South-South cooperation, since they are important means of helping all countries, especially the smaller or least developed among them, to strengthen their scientific and technological resource base.

  6. 46. Non-governmental organizations should play an important role in the sharing of experience in science teaching and education.

  7. 47. Educational institutions should provide basic science education to students in areas other than science. They should also provide opportunities for lifelong learning in the sciences.

  8. 48. Governments, international organizations and relevant professional institutions should enhance or develop programmes for the training of scientific journalists, communicators and all those involved in increasing public awareness of science. An international programme on promotion of scientific literacy and culture accessible to all should be considered in order to provide appropriate technology and scientific inputs in an easily understandable form that are conducive to the development of local communities.

  9. 49. National authorities and funding institutions should promote the role of science museums and centres as important elements in public education in science. Recognizing the resource constraints of developing countries, distance education should be used extensively to complement existing formal and non-formal education.

2.5 Science for peace and conflict resolution    Back to Contents 2.

  1. The basic principles of peace and coexistence should be part of education at all levels. Science students should also be made aware of their specific responsibility not to apply scientific knowledge and skills to activities which threaten peace and security.

  2. Governmental and private funding bodies should strengthen or develop research institutions that carry out interdisciplinary research in the areas of peace and the peaceful applications of S&T. Each country should ensure its involvement in this work, whether at the national level or through participation in international activities. Public and private support for research on the causes and consequences of wars, and conflict prevention and resolution should be increased.

  3. Governments and the private sector should invest in sectors of science and technology directly addressing issues that are at the root of potential conflicts, such as energy use, competition for resources, and pollution of air, soil and water.

  4. Military and civil sectors, including scientists and engineers, should collaborate in seeking solutions to problems caused by accumulated weapon stocks and landmines.

  5. A dialogue should be promoted between representatives of governments, civil society and scientists in order to reduce military spending and the orientation of science towards military applications.

2.6 Science and policy     Back to Contents 2.

  1. National policies should be adopted that imply consistent and long-term support for S&T, in order to ensure the strengthening of the human resource base, establishment of scientific institutions, improvement and upgrading of science education, integration of science into the national culture, development of infrastructures and promotion of technology and innovation capacities.

  2. S&T policies should be implemented that explicitly consider social relevance, peace, cultural diversity and gender differences. Adequate participatory mechanisms should be instituted to facilitate democratic debate on science policy choices. Women should actively participate in the design of these policies.

  3. All countries should systematically undertake analyses and studies on science and technology policy, taking into account the opinions of all relevant sectors of society, including those of young people, to define short-term and long-term strategies leading to sound and equitable socio-economic development. A World Technology Report as a companion volume to the present UNESCO World Science Report should be considered in order to provide a balanced world opinion on the impact of technology on social systems and culture.

  4. Governments should support graduate programmes on S&T policy and social aspects of science. Training in legal and ethical issues and regulations guiding international R&D in strategic areas such as information and communication technologies, biodiversity and biotechnology should be developed for scientists and professionals concerned. Science managers and decision-makers should have regular access to training and updating to cope with the changing needs of modern society in the areas of S&T.

  5. Governments should promote the further development or setting up of national statistical services capable of providing sound data, disaggregated by gender and disadvantaged groups, on science education and R&D activities that are necessary for effective S&T policy-making. Developing countries should be assisted in this respect by the international community, using the technical expertise of UNESCO and other international organizations.

  6. Governments of developing countries and countries in transition should enhance the status of scientific, educational and technical careers, and make determined efforts to improve working conditions, increase their capacity to retain trained scientists and promote new careers in S&T areas. Programmes should also be set up or promoted to establish collaboration with scientists, engineers and technologists who have emigrated from these countries to developed countries.

  7. Governments should make an effort to use scientific expertise more systematically in policy-making addressing the process of economic and technological transformation. The contribution of scientists should be an integral part of programmes supporting either innovation or measures aimed at industrial development or restructuring.

  8. Scientific advice is an increasingly necessary factor for informed policy-making in a complex world. Therefore, scientists and scientific bodies should consider it an important responsibility to provide independent advice to the best of their knowledge.

  9. All levels of government should establish and regularly review mechanisms which ensure timely access to the best available advice from the scientific community drawing on a sufficiently wide range of the best expert sources. These mechanisms should be open, objective and transparent. Governments should publish this scientific advice in media accessible to the public at large.

  10. Governments, in cooperation with the agencies of the United Nations system and international scientific organizations, should strengthen international scientific advisory processes as a necessary contribution to intergovernmental policy consensus-building at regional and global levels and to the implementation of regional and international conventions.

  11. All countries should protect intellectual property rights, while recognizing that access to data and information is essential for scientific progress. In developing an appropriate international legal framework, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in cooperation with relevant international organizations, should constantly address the question of knowledge monopolies, and the World Trade Organization (WTO), during new negotiations of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), should incorporate into this Agreement tools aimed at financing the advancement of science in the South with the full involvement of the scientific community. In this regard, the international programmes of ICSU and the five intergovernmental scientific programmes of UNESCO should play a catalytic role by, inter alia, improving the compatibility of data collection and processing, and facilitating access to scientific knowledge.

3. SCIENCE IN SOCIETY AND SCIENCE FOR SOCIETY     Back to Contents 3.

  1. The practice of scientific research and the use of scientific knowledge should always aim at the welfare of humankind, be respectful of the dignity of human beings and of their fundamental rights, and take fully into account our shared responsibility towards future generations.

3.1 Social requirements and human dignity      Back to Contents 3.

  1. Governments, international organizations and research institutions should foster interdisciplinary research aimed specifically at identifying, understanding and solving pressing human or social problems, according to each country’s priorities.

  2. All countries should encourage and support social science research to better understand and manage the tensions characterizing the relations between science and technology on the one hand, and the different societies and their institutions on the other hand. Transfer of technology should be accompanied by analysis of its possible impact on populations and society.

  3. The structure of educational institutions and the design of their curricula should be made open and flexible so as to adjust to the emerging needs of societies. Young scientists should be provided with a knowledge and an understanding of social issues, and a capacity to move outside their specific field of specialization.

  4. University curricula for science students should include field work that relates their studies to social needs and realities.

3.2 Ethical issues      Back to Contents 3.

  1. The ethics and responsibility of science should be an integral part of the education and training of all scientists. It is important to instil in students a positive attitude towards reflection, alertness and awareness of the ethical dilemmas they may encounter in their professional life. Young scientists should be appropriately encouraged to respect and adhere to the basic ethical principles and responsibilities of science. UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), in cooperation with ICSU’s Standing Committee on Responsibility and Ethics of Sciences (SCRES), have a special responsibility to follow up on this issue.

  2. Research institutions should foster the study of ethical aspects of scientific work. Special interdisciplinary research programmes are needed to analyse and monitor the ethical implications and means of regulation of scientific work.

  3. The international scientific community, in cooperation with other actors, should foster a debate, including a public debate, promoting environmental ethics and environmental codes of conduct.

  4. Scientific institutions are urged to comply with ethical norms, and to respect the freedom of scientists to express themselves on ethical issues and to denounce misuse or abuse of scientific or technological advances.

  5. Governments and non-governmental organizations, in particular scientific and scholarly organizations, should organize debates, including public debates, on the ethical implications of scientific work. Scientists and scientific and scholarly organizations should be adequately represented in the relevant regulating and decision-making bodies. These activities should be institutionally fostered and recognized as part of scientists’ work and responsibility. Scientific associations should define a code of ethics for their members.

  6. Governments should encourage the setting up of adequate mechanisms to address ethical issues concerning the use of scientific knowledge and its applications, and such mechanisms should be established where they do not yet exist. Non-governmental organizations and scientific institutions should promote the establishment of ethics committees in their field of competence.

  7. Member States of UNESCO are urged to strengthen the activities of the International Bioethics Committee and of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology and ensure appropriate representation.

3.3 Widening participation in science      Back to Contents 3.

  1. Government agencies, international organizations and universities and research institutions should ensure the full participation of women in the planning, orientation, conduct and assessment of research activities. It is necessary that women participate actively in shaping the agenda for the future direction of scientific research.

  2. The full participation of disadvantaged groups in all aspects of research activities, including the development of policy, also needs to be ensured.

  3. All countries should contribute to the collection of reliable data, in an internationally standardized manner, for the generation of gender-disaggregated statistics on S&T, in cooperation with UNESCO and other relevant international organizations.

  4. Governments and educational institutions should identify and eliminate, from the early learning stages on, educational practices that have a discriminatory effect, so as to increase the successful participation in science of individuals from all sectors of society, including disadvantaged groups.

  5. Every effort should be made to eliminate open or covert discriminatory practices in research activities. More flexible and permeable structures should be set up to facilitate the access of young scientists to careers in science. Measures aimed at attaining social equity in all scientific and technological activities, including working conditions, should be designed, implemented and monitored.

3.4 Modern science and other systems of knowledge     Back to Contents 3.

  1. Governments are called upon to formulate national policies that allow a wider use of the applications of traditional forms of learning and knowledge, while at the same time ensuring that its commercialization is properly rewarded.

  2. Enhanced support for activities at the national and international levels on traditional and local knowledge systems should be considered.

  3. Countries should promote better understanding and use of traditional knowledge systems, instead of focusing only on extracting elements for their perceived utility to the S&T system. Knowledge should flow simultaneously to and from rural communities.

  4. Governmental and non-governmental organizations should sustain traditional knowledge systems through active support to the societies that are keepers and developers of this knowledge, their ways of life, their languages, their social organization and the environments in which they live, and fully recognize the contribution of women as repositories of a large part of traditional knowledge.

  5. Governments should support cooperation between holders of traditional knowledge and scientists to explore the relationships between different knowledge systems and to foster interlinkages of mutual benefit.

FOLLOW-UP    Back to top

  1. We, participants in the World Conference on Science, are prepared to act with determination to attain the goals proclaimed in the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge, and uphold the recommendations for follow-up set out hereafter.

  2. All participants in the Conference consider the Agenda as a framework for action, and encourage other partners to adhere to it. In so doing, governments, the United Nations system and all other stakeholders should use the Agenda, or relevant parts of it, when planning and implementing concrete measures and activities which embrace science or its applications. In this way, a truly multilateral and multifaceted programme of action will be developed and carried out. We are also convinced that young scientists should play an important role in the follow-up of this Framework for Action.

  3. Taking into account the outcome of the six regional forums on women and science sponsored by UNESCO, the Conference stresses that special efforts should be made by governments, educational institutions, scientific communities, non-governmental organizations and civil society, with support from bilateral and international agencies, to ensure the full participation of women and girls in all aspects of science and technology, and to this effect to:

  • promote within the education system the access of girls and women to scientific education at all levels;

  • improve conditions for recruitment, retention and advancement in all fields of research;

  • launch, in collaboration with UNESCO and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), national, regional and global campaigns to raise awareness of the contribution of women to science and technology, in order to overcome existing gender stereotypes among scientists, policy-makers and the community at large;

  • undertake research, supported by the collection and analysis of gender-disaggregated data, documenting constraints and progress in expanding the role of women in science and technology;

  • monitor the implementation of and document best practices and lessons learned through impact assessment and evaluations;

  • ensure an appropriate representation of women in national, regional and international policy- and decision-making bodies and forums;

  • establish an international network of women scientists;

  • continue to document the contributions of women in science and technology.

To sustain these initiatives governments should create appropriate mechanisms, where these do not yet exist, to propose and monitor introduction of the necessary policy changes in support of the attainment of these goals.

  1. Special efforts also need to be made to ensure the full participation of disadvantaged groups in science and technology, and they should include:

  • removing barriers in the education system;
  • removing barriers in the research system;
  • raising awareness of the contribution of these groups to science and technology in order to overcome existing stereotypes;
  • undertaking research, supported by the collection of data, documenting constraints;
  • monitoring implementation of and documenting best practices;
  • ensuring representation in policy-making bodies and forums.
  1. Although the follow-up to the Conference will be executed by many partners who will retain the responsibility for their own action, UNESCO, in co-operation with ICSU - its partner in convening the Conference - should act as a clearing house. For this purpose, all the partners should send UNESCO information about their follow-up initiatives and action. In this context, UNESCO and ICSU should develop concrete initiatives for international scientific cooperation together with relevant United Nations organizations and bilateral donors, in particular on a regional basis.

  2. UNESCO and ICSU should submit the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge and Science Agenda - Framework for Action to their General Conference and General Assembly respectively, with a view to enabling both organizations to identify and envisage follow-up action in their respective programmes and provide enhanced support for that purpose. The other partner organizations should do likewise vis--vis their governing bodies; the United Nations General Assembly should also be seized of the outcome of the World Conference on Science.

  3. The international community should support the efforts of developing countries in implementing this Science Agenda.

  4. The Director-General of UNESCO and the President of ICSU should ensure that the outcome of the Conference is disseminated as widely as possible, which includes transmitting the Declaration and the Science Agenda - Framework for Action to all countries, to relevant international and regional organizations and to multilateral institutions. All participants are encouraged to contribute to such dissemination.

  5. We appeal for increased partnership between all the stakeholders in science and recommend that UNESCO, in cooperation with other partners, prepare and conduct a regular review of the follow-up to the World Conference on Science. In particular, no later than 2001, UNESCO and ICSU shall prepare jointly an analytical report to governments and international partners on the returns on the Conference, the execution of follow-up and further action to be taken.

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