Science

Natural Sciences:

Our three areas of work are:

STI Policy

UNESCO assists its Member States in formulating their STI policies, strategies and plans as well as in the reform of their science systems, by bringing to light policy options for the governance of science systems in new contexts and supporting participatory policy formulation and/or reviews to improve science management at the national level. This is done by means of the provision of guidelines and methodologies, technical advice and guidance on formulation, implementation and monitoring, together with a review of policies and plans concerning national S&T activities.

As part of UNESCO’s contribution to Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action adopted in 2005, UNESCO’s General Conference approved the launch of an African Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Initiative in October 2007. The aim is to develop national science, technology and innovation (STI) policies for all those African countries still without one. One of the thrusts of this initiative is to build capacity in evidence-based policy-making in these countries via STI policy reviews.

Climate Change

Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change. It helps young people understand and address the impact of global warming, encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour and helps them adapt to climate change-related trends. Through its Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development programme, UNESCO aims to make climate change education a more central and visible part of the international response to climate change. The programme aims to help people understand the impact of global warming today and increase “climate literacy” among young people. It does this by strengthening the capacity of its Member States to provide quality climate change education; encouraging innovative teaching approaches to integrate climate change education in school and by raising awareness about climate change as well as enhancing non-formal education programmes through media, networking and partnerships.

Life Sciences

As with all other areas of science, efforts are being stepped up for effective teaching and learning of the biological sciences at all levels and the building of capacity in this regard. Moreover, information and building of awareness at the level of policy-makers as well as in the general public about biological processes and areas such as biotechnology, microbiology and genetics, disease and its prevention, have become important tools in the development of preventive health strategies and in empowering consumer participation in making informed choices in their everyday lives. These efforts are being promoted through UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) and cross cutting initiatives in science education.


Social and Human Sciences:

Our four areas of work are:

Democracy

From the outset, UNESCO has played a key role in the promotion of democratic values and principles. Its Constitution upholds the democratic ideals of justice, liberty, equality and solidarity, and considers these principles as fundamental factors in the building of peace.

Human Rights Based Approach

UNESCO’s Strategy on Human Rights sets as a priority for the Organization the integration of a human rights-based approach (HRBA) in all its programs and activities. The basis for the mainstreaming efforts within UNESCO is the building of the capacities of its staff. Through training seminars, the production of training manuals and tools and the sharing of information, it is aimed to increase their awareness and knowledge on human rights and human rights-based programming. UNESCO cooperates closely with other bodies, programmes and specialized agencies of the UN system, drawing inspiration from their experiences.

Physical Education & Sports

UNESCO is the United Nations’ lead agency for Physical Education and Sport (PES). Assistance and guidance services are provided for governments, NGOs, and experts to debate the evolving challenges of physical education and sport. The organization also assists and advises Member States wishing to elaborate or strengthen their training system in physical education. And it offers its expertise in the design and implementation of development programmes in the domain of sport.

Youth

The United Nations define youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. UNESCO understands that young people are a heterogeneous group in constant evolution and that the experience of ‘being young’ varies enormously across regions and within countries.