WSF Steering Committee for ‘Science for Peace’
Jordan’s preparations to host the 8th World Science Forum (WSF) in November 2017 gathered pace in Brussels today with the first meeting of the WSF Steering Committee. Chaired by HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, participants discussed the Forum’s theme of Science for Peace and its relevance to Middle Eastern and global science.
Members of the Steering Committee reflected on the meaning of the term ‘Peace’ in relation to the potential of science, technology and science policy to impact positively on the lives and expectations of people around the world, and particularly in areas where conflict and instability have impaired social cohesion and equitable development. The definition of ‘peace’ was elaborated for WSF 2017 with a clear recognition of the definitive value of the term, one that should be preserved through the Forum as denoting an optimal state for all of the world’s citizens in which opportunity, health and access to resources and technology are open and facilitated.
The importance of linking the narrative and themes of WSF 2017 to the Sustainable Development Goals was highlighted and it was agreed that the Forum should both empower and expand the discourse around all of the SDGs, particularly Goal 16 which is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.
It was noted that growing global inequality was fast becoming the greatest threat to Peace in today’s world. The meeting noted that trends in inequality were threatening capacities to maintain peace at a global level.
While in Brussels, Princess Sumaya also spoke at the Conference of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), on the theme of “Science and Policy-Making: towards a new dialogue”. Organized by INGSA and the European Commission, the conference gathered together high-level users and providers of scientific advice on global issues.
Speakers at the conference included Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. Princess Sumaya attended the meeting in her capacity as President of the Royal Scientific Society and Chair of WSF 2017.
Princess Sumaya also held bilateral discussions with UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Flavia Schlegel, who is a committee member of WSF 2017. The Princess was invited by UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova to join her High Panel on Science Technology and Innovation for Development in 2011.
World Science Forum is held every two years and 2017 will mark its first time in the Middle East. Jordan competed with several potential hosts to gain the nomination for host in 2017. The event will provide Jordan and its science community with an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Jordanian talent and to focus global attention on challenges facing Jordan and the world.