Science Diplomacy

The complementarity of science combined to diplomacy and politics is an innovative approach which belongs to science diplomacy.

“Science without consciousness is only the ruin of the soul”
Rabelais, French writer (1483-1553)

Science Diplomacy

STEM for peacebuilding initiatives

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are powerful tools of diplomacy for peacebuilding projects. Often they are not considered by peace makers or scientists due to difficult interdisciplinary dialogues. They also have to face the complexity of integrating new approaches.

STEM projects such as the ones supported by the UNESCO SIMEV Chair provide data, factual elements and technical skills that might help any peacebuilding initiatives.

Science diplomacy could be defined as “the use and application of scientific cooperation to help establish links and strengthen relations between societies, especially in areas where there may not be other official approach” (Read more in Science et Diplomatie : le cadre conceptuel – Dr Almamy Konté).

Science is then used to strengthen or build links between countries that have tense, limited, or non-existent relationships.

International coherence & social cohesion through interdisciplinary cooperation

Through its projects, the UNESCO SIMEV Chair develops the concept of collaborative diplomacy. Here, science is as a way to foster collaborations between different actors, in particular at the local level.

The SIMEV network connects the academic world, policy makers, businesses and social actors internationally to develop new cooperative and participative dynamics and tools. Their application enables building international coherence, social cohesion and local partnerships based on real needs identified by local communities.

“In the context of pressing planetary and socio-economic challenges, sustainable and innovative solutions require efficient, transparent and vibrant scientific efforts, not only stemming from the scientific community, but from the whole of society.”

UNESCO position strengthened in the face of COVID-19

Preventing water conflicts through bottom-up approaches

The UNESCO SIMEV Chair promotes approaches of diplomacy for prevention of conflicts that goes beyond the traditional, state-to-state diplomacy approach. Indeed, STEM projects combined with participatory tools integrate the local actors, communities and diversity of scientific experts for the development of efficient local (water) solutions.

The main idea is to integrate technical data and results for effective actions to support peace programmes. It leads to customised transfer of knowledge and result-orientated capacity-building, adapted to the local realities.

More broadly, this approach is intended to integrate sciences into local policy-making for scientific empowerment of local community as source of value, self-esteem, responsibility and independence.

Geneva Peace Week & Geneva Peacebuilding Platform

SIMEV has been part of the Geneva Peace Week 2020, international congress dedicated to promote peace building practices and research. The chair presented examples of its work on the ground and how members act on preventing water conflicts, strengthening resilience and trust within local communities.

The chair is also involved in the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, the knowledge hub for better peacebuilding. It connects the critical mass of peacebuilding actors, resources, and expertise in Geneva and worldwide.

GO-SPIN : Global Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments

GO-SPIN is a methodological tool to map national science, technology and innovation (STI) landscapes and analyse STI policies and their implementation.

The open-access platform offers innovative databases for the use of decision-makers, parliamentarians, universities, knowledge brokers, companies, specialists and the general public.

The European Science Diplomacy Cluster

The website provides an entry point for policymakers, scientists, practicing diplomats, and other wider audiences to stay up-to-date with developments in European science diplomacy.