New ‘social contract’ for Johannesburg forum echoes Budapest


10 June 2002 Three years after the World Conference on Science adopted a ‘social contract’ between science and society, the country hosting the World Summit on Sustainable Development this year has proposed that a similar contract be concluded in Johannesburg. (More)

In a statement made in Bali during the fourth and final preparatory meeting for the week-long World Summit on Sustainable Development, which begins on 26 August, the South African government has announced that a forum will be held in parallel to the Summit.

During the forum, members of civil society and industry, and policy- and decision-makers will together examine the contributions of science, technology and innovation to sustainable development.

The South African government proposes the following themes for discussion: a new ‘social contract’ between science and society, capacity-building to narrow the knowledge and technology divides, increased interdisciplinarity, greater dialogue between scientists and policy-makers, developments in monitoring and early warning systems and success stories which have marked sustainable development.

The ‘social contract’ between science and society adopted in Budapest took the form of a Declaration and Science Agenda. The twin documents contain recommendations for capacity-building to narrow the knowledge and technology divides, increased interdisciplinarity, greater dialogue between scientists and policy-makers and the development of monitoring and early warning systems. (See for example Section 2.2 of the Science Agenda on Science, environment and sustainable development).

UNESCO is actively involved in preparations for the Johannesburg Summit and took part in the Bali preparatory meeting.

Source: Sci.Dev.Net ; for further information, write to: j.damlamian@unesco.org