When the Summit of the United Nations adopted the Agenda 2030 in 2015, the international community clearly expressed the conviction that the major global challenges can only be solved with joint actions. Many of our contemporary global problems need scientific analysis through the dedicated work of experts; solutions can only be found by border-crossing and coordinated cooperation. Science diplomacy is crucial for policy making that opens doors to these joint efforts.
Apart from the effects that can be observed on the level of international cooperation, one can assume that national policies will be affected by joint actions, too. Science diplomacy strategies can have a positive impact on the internationalisation of institutions in the area of science and technology. Additionally, the way countries pursue their own national interests will impact the shape and characteristics of the joint initiatives that are undertaken in order to face global challenges. For example, the effects of rising global temperatures due to climate change will be felt by us all. In this context, efforts on the level of international policy already date back decades with varying degrees of success. And we are convinced that effects on (sub-)national levels will become more and more visible in the future.
Science cooperation is a powerful instrument to build trust and to pursue common goals in diplomacy.
Diplomats need practices that enable them to bring together and reconcile the increasing variety of interests, which they can achieve, for example through science advisors or science advice mechanisms. This is a precondition if they want to realise collective action that addresses grand societal challenges.”
Policy brief: Towards effective science diplomacy practice, Premise #3, Page: 8
The provision of safe nutrition and health, the reduction of poverty, the preservation of our environment, and the exploration of space can only be achieved by joint action. In some cases, science cooperation leads to beneficial effects for entire regions. A remarkable example can be seen in the development of the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific. The coordination of its installation was done by an international group. The UNESCO established an Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission to this end. The UN will provide a framework for more international cooperation in this area of disaster risk reduction by proclaiming the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
The material provided under this course is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.