Science, research, technology and innovation are prerequisites for the further development of the economy – but they are also much more than that. Scientific progress also improves our lives, for example through new medical therapies, healthier diets or communication technology. At the same time, science is the key to shifting to new production and consumption patterns in order to make our planet worth living – this is essential in the face of limited resources and global change. Science is also an expression of human curiosity, creativity and the urge to know.
UNESCO strengthens scientific research worldwide, taking into account tensions between academic freedom and social responsibility of science. The latter includes both ethical responsibility and orientation towards global challenges. UNESCO contributes significantly to standard setting, it supports developing countries to set up their own research infrastructure and it promotes cooperation in science. This is an important step towards peace. It also promotes global research on urgent societal issues, making sustainable development a reality. In particular, when exchanging sovereign data for the purpose of scientific research, UNESCO offers an important platform.