UNESCO with Natural Sciences and Social Sciences

Natural sciences and social sciences

UNESCO works with science and research in both natural and social sciences. Overriding goals are sustainable development, dissemination of knowledge and ethics in research.

The goals have been formulated in decisions and recommendations from the World Conference on Science in Budapest in 1999, which emphasized the importance of making knowledge accessible to all, and in the World Conference on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. The work is mainly carried out within six major scientific programs.

In the natural sciences, issues concerning water resources and for these relevant ecosystems have special priority. UNESCO’s Hydrological Program IHP (International Hydrological Program) deals with knowledge of freshwater resources, while the oceanographic program IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) deals with oceans, coasts and marine ecosystems. In 2005, the IOC set up a new coordination group for tsunami warnings in the world’s oceans following the tsunami disaster in Asia the year before. Such a warning system was set up as early as 1968 for the Pacific, under the auspices of UNESCO.

The International Geological Correlation Program (IGCP) deals with questions about how the earth’s resources can be used in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.

The Biosphere Program (Man and Biosphere) aims to preserve biological diversity and works, among other things, by establishing special so-called biosphere reserves. These are special model areas for research and social and economic development. In the autumn of 2018, there were 686 biosphere reserves in the world, five of which were in Sweden, including Kristianstad water kingdom.

In addition, in 2003 UNESCO launched a program to strengthen basic scientific research, IBSP (International Basic Sciences Program). It will contribute to building research capacity at universities and other institutions around the world.

In the social sciences, there is the research program MOST (Management of Social Transformations) which studies major social transformation processes. The purpose is to provide decision-makers with relevant knowledge about the social consequences of, for example, large population movements.

In addition to the major scientific programs, specific issues are also addressed in a number of projects. In 1997, a declaration on human genes was adopted. It contains ethical rules for how research on human genes should be conducted and encourages cooperation between different countries.

Young people have a high priority for UNESCO. The INFOYOUTH project gathers information about young people’s situation in society and the organization tries to draw decision – makers’ attention to young people’s special needs and wishes.

UNESCO also works to create peaceful and democratic societies and opposes all forms of discrimination against ethnic groups or between women and men. Through several different exchange programs and conferences, UNESCO strives to bring together researchers from developed and developing countries so that they can share their respective knowledge.

The UN has appointed UNESCO as coordinator for a decade devoted to education for sustainable development, 2005–2014.

In 2003, the Swedish Committee for UNESCO’s scientific programs was formed at the Swedish Research Council, with the task of coordinating and following up Swedish research within the organization’s programs.

The external cooperation

According to areacodesexplorer, UNESCO is an independent UN body, accountable to its own member states. At the same time, the organization is part of the UN family and cooperates both with the UN and with other specialized bodies.

In almost all Member States, there are special national commissions whose task is to disseminate information on UNESCO’s work and to act as a liaison between the organization and the various countries. The commissions are not accountable to Unesco but completely independent. The national commissions are involved in developing, implementing and evaluating the UNESCO program, which is unique in the UN system.

The national commission in Sweden is called the Swedish UNESCO Council. Among other things, it disseminates information about UNESCO in Sweden and cooperates with the councils of the other Nordic countries. The Swedish UNESCO Council’s secretariat is attached to the Ministry of Education.

UNESCO cooperates with about 350 so-called voluntary organizations. These include, for example, the human rights organization Amnesty International and the International Scout Association.

UNESCO with Natural Sciences and Social Sciences

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