World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development
Engineering has always had an essential role in development and human welfare. Ensuring that future generations of engineers and scientists will be able to design solutions for local and global challenges is critical.
UNESCO's General Conference proclaimed the 4 March World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development during its 40th session in November 2019 (40 C/64), to raise awareness of the role of engineering in modern life, which is essential to mitigate the impact of climate change and advance sustainable development, especially in Africa and the small island developing states (SIDS).
In spite of the importance of engineering for our life and future, women have been historically underrepresented in engineering fields, typically making up only 10 – 20% of the engineering work force. Even in countries where the numbers of women studying STI have increased, this trend has not translated into more women entering the workplace. Too many female students who graduate do not go into the engineering profession. The barriers are often connected to persistent gender stereotypes in this field, inadequate policies or educational environments that do not meet their needs and aspirations.
UNESCO is placing a high priority on activities that promote awareness of engineering as a career, as well as on those that demonstrate the importance of youth studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The official celebration is co-hosted by UNESCO, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the International Centre of Engineering Education (ICEE), and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO).
It is also the global launch of the new report Engineering for Sustainable Development: Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
— Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, 4 March 2021
"Engineering has helped to shape the world for millennia and now more than ever, the world needs engineering. (...)
Engineering is one of the keys to sustainable development, and in order to unlock all its potential, there needs to be more equality in the world. This is the twofold message which UNESCO seeks to convey on the first edition of World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development."
— Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, 4 March 2020
Engineering for a Healthy Planet, Celebrating the UNESCO Engineering Report
04 March 2021, 1 to 3 PM (Paris, France, GMT+1)
The official celebration is co-hosted by UNESCO, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the International Centre of Engineering Education (ICEE), and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO). It is also the global launch of the new report Engineering for Sustainable Development: Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.
- World Engineering Day 2021 in Southern Africa
- World Engineering Day celebration in Asia and the Pacific
- Celebrating World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development (brochure, pdf)
- Digital Exhibition
This exhibition is currently visible on the UNESCO gates
Messages from partners
GONG Ke, President of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) shares his message on the occasion of the 2021 World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development:
Kathy Land, President of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) shares her message on the occasion of the 2021 World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development:
- Engineering has been changing the world for millennia, and the new rapidly emerging technologies are an opportunity for positive transformation that leaves no one behind.
- The world is still experiencing, on average, a shortage of engineers in all domains.
- We are still observing a decline of interest and enrollment in engineering by young people, especially women.
- We must address gender segregation in engineering and deconstruct sterotypes by showcasing important engineering role models and developing programmes to encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career.
- The world is still experiencing a brain drain of all qualified engineers from developing countries to developed countries.
- Policy-makers must take into consideration the need and importance of engineering for sustainable development.
- Innovation in engineering is necessary to better adapt and address today’s global challenges and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Engineering is essential for economic advancement and for the implementation of new technologies and the application of science, including for basic needs of food, health, housing, roads and transport, water, energy and management of the planet’s resources.
- Engineer is a vital profession in addressing basic human needs, in alleviating poverty, in promoting secure and sustainable development, in responding to emergency situations, in reconstructing infrastructure, in bridging the knowledge divide and in promoting intercultural cooperation.
The 17 colours of the UN Sustainable Development Goals are included in the World Engineering Day logo and represent the commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda. The colours at the centre of the image are for the Sustainable Development Goals for Water, Energy, Sustainable Infrastructure and Innovation. These are the areas where engineers are needed most. The goal for Engineering Education is also central as the world needs more engineers with the right engineering skills for sustainable development. The image of the world is incorporated in the logo to show that this is a global day for everyone. The gears of the logo show that engineers are driving the world forward and that engineering is essential for sustainable development.
UNESCO Engineering Report
The second UNESCO Engineering Report, Engineering for Sustainable Development: Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, published on 4 March 2021, is launched in the context of accelerating actions to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.
The report highlights the crucial role of engineering in achieving each of the 17 SDGs. It shows how equal opportunities for all is key to ensuring an inclusive and gender balanced profession that can better respond to the shortage of engineers for implementing the SDGs.