News archive - UNESCO past activities and the future

UNESCO reported at the Steering Platform meeting in Paris on December 19, 2008 about its past and future activities in and for the region.

Regional scientific co-operation of UNESCO started with the international conference of experts on "Rebuilding Scientific Cooperation in SEE" in Venice in March 2001. Scientific networks (such as GEANT, seismology, astronomy, mathematics and physics for example). Also the topic of research infrastructure was tackled early, a network of institutes in astronomy was established which is functioning.

Ministerial round tables were organised (2002, 2006, 2008). Cooperation with parliamentary committees for S&T was initiated, a very interesting meeting was organised in this regard, the input of science journalists was also regarded very valuable.

Conferences on investments in S&T, roles of academies of sciences and higher education and research linkages were organised.

The issue of statistics was also specially addressed, a dedicated workshop was organised - with the initiative being taken up by WBC-INCO.NET.

S&T country analysis on Bosnia and Herzegovina was carried out and published as well in the "science policy series" of the UNESCO Venice Office.

A pilot project was carried out with funding from Hewlett Packart focussing on Human Potential. Travel grants and infrastructure (GRID computing equipment) were provided to seven univerities. Exchange visits were organised (40) all over the world (visiting peers abroad). A result was a EU-funded project on SEE-GRID computing as carried forward the cooperation. 2 universities also became members of the Gelato Federation, a world wide technology platform.

Present and future:

UN is implementing its reform process and therefore work will be carried out much more on national rather than regional level. UN agencies will increase their cooperation on country level. The shift from regional to national approaches is carried out and an antenna office was established in Sarajevo and a post also in Tirana.

Between UNESCO and EC (DG Research) the cooperation is continued, and from 2008 it will be on a more permanent and constructive way by the set-up of a working group.

Main needs identified:

  • long-term research strategies and plans of action
  • evaluation / audit of research systems
  • mapping of research (HE) competences
  • evaluation / audit mechanisms
  • public-private partnership
  • regional cooperation in priority fields

The mapping of competences would be one of UNESCOs future activities.

UNESCO is a specialised agency with the capacity to mobilise international expertise. Member States need to take best advantage of the possibilities, were the concluding words of Ms. Iulia Nechifor (UNESCO)


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Entry created by Elke Dall on December 19, 2008
Modified on December 19, 2008