UNESCO Science Centres Coordination Meeting
15-18 May 2016, Beijing, China

Group photo of officials and participants

UNESCO held the first meeting of its category 2 science centres from 15-18 May 2016 in Beijing. This meeting was attended by directors and representatives of 47 UNESCO science category 2 centres and 3 UNESCO science category 1 centres, staff of UNESCO Headquarters and field offices, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chinese National Commission for UNESCO and TWAS.  The main objectives of the meeting were to discuss and identify contributions of the Centres to UN2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through projects, identify how centres can increase their contributions and to define mechanism to increase cooperation between regional and similarly – themed centres.  Opening remarks were made by Dr. Flavia Schlegel, the ADG of Natural Sciences UNESCO, Vice president of the National Chinese Commission, President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

During the meeting participants were briefed on the progress of the UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector in meeting the SDGs by the ADG of Natural Sciences. This provided direction on the realignment that science category two centres need to take in order to achieve the SDGs. The meeting was hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Academy of Engineering (CAE) while the organisation was by the International Knowledge Centre for Engineering Sciences and Technology (IKCEST) under the auspices of UNESCO and the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST). At the end of the meeting a statement on the need for centres to align their programmes to the SDGs and strategies for better relations amongst centres was produced. A poster exhibition by all Science Category 2 centres present was also held alongside the meeting. 

Dato’ Dr. Sharifah Maimunah presenting on ISTIC 

Dato’ Dr. Sharifah Maimunah Syed Zin, Coordinator IBSE Consultative Unit represented ISTIC at this meeting and gave a presentation on ISTIC under the best practice session. She highlighted ISTIC’s initiatives at keeping both UNESCO office and UNESCO member states particularly the G77 member countries informed of the programmes organised and planned by ISTIC. The meeting produced a joint statement agreed by all participant on how science centres could work together. 

Earlier on 16 May, prior to the meeting, participants were invited to attend the opening of the International Symposium on Earth Observation for One Belt and One Road (EOBAR), which was organised by the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage(HIST).