Programme / Opening Programme: Welcoming Ceremony, Opening Plenary 'Science for Peace', Inauguration

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Day 1

Tuesday / 7 nov

9:30 - 13:00

Plenary session:
Opening Programme: Welcoming Ceremony, Opening Plenary 'Science for Peace', Inauguration
Organised by:  World Science Forum
Venue: King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre, Philadelphia - Ground Floor

Our universal right to peace is so much more than a claim to live free from conflict. Peace encompasses the reconciliation and prevention of conflict, but it further embraces the holistic promotion of universal access to natural resources (including food, water and energy), to inclusive and equitable education and health provision, and to the opportunities created by a growing global economy, increasing innovation, and the digital transformation of our world. Building and sustaining peace, in the face of geopolitical turmoil and growing inequality, prejudice, poverty and insecurity, are imperative to securing a durable future for our planet and our people.

Our definition of peace is at the core of the Sustainable Development Agenda (Agenda 2030), both as a vital threshold condition for development, and as a development outcome in its own right. The attainment and sustainment of peace are responsibilities for all, and for scientists and science-policymakers never more so. Scientists have a vital role to play in:

  • the promotion and provision of evidence-based policy, working with policymakers and practitioners to ensure robust, effective policies and good governance, so that governments and institutions are informed and held accountable;
  • providing sustainable solutions to major and wide-ranging global challenges – not least in the management of natural resources – as ineffective policies fuel greater division, social discord and, ultimately, conflict;
  • promoting and shaping science education to foster equal opportunity, and to inform and empower all citizens;
  • building a more secure and resilient world that is predisposed to peace between nations and within societies, and in rebuilding broken societies where natural or human catastrophic events have prevailed to create rifts and inequalities. 

The core scientific principles of rationality, transparency and universality are essential to building peace, promoting equality and engendering hope. Plenary 1 will explore the definition and application of “science for peace”, particularly in relation to Agenda 2030, notably, Sustainable Development Goal 16 (“promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies”) – which it may be argued is a pre-requisite for all the other goals. The session will explore the opportunities and challenges faced by the global science community in applying science for peace. In doing so, it will establish a narrative for the rest of the World Science Forum through seven other plenaries and supporting thematic sessions and side events.