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World Science Forum participants urge Arab edition

By JT - Nov 11,2017 - Last updated at Nov 11,2017

AMMAN — Participants in the World Science Forum (WSF) 2017 voiced their support for the launch of an Arab Science Forum aimed at bringing together science and research communities, utilising scientific capacity to address regional challenges and connecting regional science voices to the global discourse.

"We, as partner organisations and participants of World Science Forum 2017, commit our support to the establishment of the Arab Science Forum," the participants said in the declaration of the 8th World Science Forum which concluded in Jordan on Friday.

This year's WSF witnessed the participation of some 3,000 scientists, policymakers, activists and experts.

In the communiqué, a copy of which was e-mailed to The Jordan Times, the participants called on stakeholders in the field of science to come together to promote the universal right to science as an essential precursor to building a fair and durable peace.

"We recognise the importance of regional initiatives to strengthen cohesion within diverse scientific communities and to build partnerships among them. In this respect, we support the organisation and promotion of regional science as a powerful tools to initiate positive change focusing on regional challenges to science systems," they said.

Calling on science organisations, universities and governments to devise mechanisms to identify professionals among the millions displaced by war, economic hardship and climate change, the forum urged coming up with recommendations that protect the person’s status and ability to create knowledge.

The participants of the event, which was for the first time held in the Middle East, underlined the need for education and jobs programmes to support mobility and integration of migrant and refugee researchers and students.

They also called for the inclusion of migrant and refugee researchers in the negotiation process of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration due to be signed by UN Member States in 2018.

In the declaration, the participants called for the recognition and promotion of diversity in science as an essential precursor to fully realising the potential of human capacities globally, to cherishing excellence and optimising the impact of scientific research for the benefit of humankind.

“We affirm the need to collaborate to improve governance, to inform technological choices and investments, and to build social and human infrastructures for equitable and sustainable management of resources,” the declaration read.

They also endorsed the three landmark UN agreements adopted in 2015 — the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

They said the preservation of scientific capacities, threatened by global migration trends, was key to peace, sustainable development, resilience and recovery, committing to promote the right for all to participate in the advancement of science and the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications as established in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966).

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