Building peace in the minds of men and women

Mobilising UNESCO Chairs in Natural Sciences for Policy Action towards the 2030 Agenda

Themes of Discussion

Strengthen, Promote, and Create:  the Geneva Milestone

Recent years have demonstrated an accrued interest and rise of influence of new actors and networks on the global level. The rise of global issues led to the realization that their potential solutions may only be developed at a transnational or regional level.

UNESCO, through its UNITWIN programme, has developed a vast and diverse network of scientific experts that is particularly relevant in the reflection and action process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To seize this opportunity, UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Sector has launched a programme, starting with this conference, to develop its expert network.

With this in mind, three objectives have been identified. Three questions to be answered during the conference and transcribed in a single outcome document, a red line for all actors present to contribute to the development of a transnational policy network for the SDGs:  the “Geneva Milestone”.


How can we strengthen the capacities of UNESCO Chairs to contribute to the SDGs?
How can we promote exchange and cooperation among Chairs and between them and UNESCO?
How can we develop outreach and partnerships between UNESCO Chairs and other stakeholders, such as international organisations and the private sector?


International Initiatives to Protect Human Scientific Capital

STI is considered as a key enabler for the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its 17 SDGs. Hence, global scientific capital, which we see as a combination of scientific human and material capital and the scientific tangible and intangible heritage, represents a critical asset of humanity. Unfortunately, just like the world’s economic, social and cultural capital, the global scientific capital finds itself increasingly at risk of significant damage and destruction, particularly in cases of natural disasters and violent conflicts.

There is an urgent need to help the scientists to continue their scientific careers so as to avoid the irreversible knowledge gap and loss of scientific capital, which will be of utmost importance when the time comes to rebuild their conflict-torn countries and economies.

The morning of 7 July 2017, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, will be dedicated to the presentation of international initiatives aimed at protecting and/or hosting scientists coming from contexts of violent conflict or natural disasters.

It will be the occasion for representatives of international programmes in this field and UNESCO Chairs having hosted scientists at risk to present their experiences, lessons learned and perspectives.