Programme / Thematic session I./b Responding to Pandemics: Science and Human Rights

‹ back to Programme lister


Wednesday / 7 DEC

11:30 - 13:00

Thematic session:
Thematic session I./b Responding to Pandemics: Science and Human Rights
Venue: Meeting Rooms 2.44-2.46

The COVID-19 pandemic has put to the fore the multiple threats and challenges deriving from the unequal access to scientific benefits and its applications, and also from unequal opportunities to participate in science. Addressing these challenges will require that science, technology and innovation ecosystems prioritize human wellbeing and equality over productivity and growth. Human rights standards and principles are a powerful leverage to achieve this profound transformation, with the right to share in scientific advancement and its benefits playing a central role.


How can UNESCO’s normative arsenal in the field of science (notably the recommendations on science and scientific researchers (2017), the ethics of artificial intelligence (2021) and open science (2021)) and recent normative guidance by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (General Comment 25 of 2020) help strengthen the human rights entrenchment of the science process? How can a renewed commitment to attain the goals of the Agenda 2030 contribute to this effort? What difficulties and challenges are encountered by scientific researchers and related institutions and what could be their role? These are some of the questions that this panel will explore with the aim of bringing to the fore concrete ideas and recommendations for future action.