Without science there can be little progress to sustainable development. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding through science will arm us to find solutions to the increasingly acute economic, social and environmental challenges facing humanity today. This is particularly true for developing countries. Science, responding to the need to develop greener and inclusive knowledge societies, creates economic growth and employment, assists us in managing the environment and arms us with the knowledge to ensure equitable social progress.
UNESCO promotes the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge by assisting countries to invest in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), to develop national policies, to reform their science systems and to build capacity while encouraging new forms of governance and participation in decision-making. The Organisation promotes a culture of evidence-based policy-making and leads international efforts to build efficient bridges between research, policy and practice.
Capacity-building in basic sciences and engineering is key to enhance human resourcs development and leverage the transfer of scientific knowledge, thus bridging the knowledge gap between developed and developing countries. The translation of scientific knowledge into useful products, services and employment through innovation impacts all aspects of life, including health. The social, cultural, legal and ethical implications of such progress must also be addressed: UNESCO's involvement in the field of bioethics reflects the international dimensions of such debates.
UNESCO believes that people must remain at the heart of the decisions concerning their own lives. Public understanding and participation in science must be improved, and sustainable development must be incorporated in our teaching and learning methods to allow every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future.