Arab Science and Technology Workshop Calls for Regionally Coordinated Research

20 October 2011: The International Council for Science (ICSU) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organized five regional workshops on science and technology in preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The regional workshop for for Arab States, in Cairo, Egypt, from 12-14 October 2011, called for their countries to undertake regionally coordinated research into sustainable development. They also urged policy makers to recognize, support and facilitate the work of scientists in the region, and make better use of their knowledge. Participants also expressed fears that the UNCSD's emphasis on the green economy might leave science on the sidelines.

The other four workshops were held for: Asia and the Pacific, from 16-18 April 2011, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Africa, from 30 May-1 June 2011, in Pretoria, South Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean, from 3-5 August 2011, in Mexico City, Mexico; and Europe, from 12-14 October 2011, in Helsinki, Finland. The European Group of ICSU National Members organized the Europe workshop, in cooperation with ICSU and UNESCO. All workshops were held in cooperation with the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and other regional stakeholders.

The workshops aimed to give natural scientists, social scientists and engineers the opportunity to prepare joint positions and provide input to the Rio+20 preparatory process, as well as to discuss their views with high-level policy makers and representatives of other stakeholder groups. The workshops also sought to identify contributions of science to sustainable development, to be showcased at the UNCSD.

The results of each workshop were presented at the respective UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meetings, in order to ensure that region-specific scientific knowledge, issues and concerns are integrated into the Conference. [ICSU Webpage on Regional Workshops] [Rio+20 News on Arab Workshop] [ICSU Webpage on Arab Workshop]