The International Year of Basic Sciences for Development – IYBSD 2022
«Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is the ambitious program that the Member States of the United Nations have agreed on to ensure a balanced, sustainable and inclusive development of the planet.
Basic sciences have an important contribution to make to the implementation of this program. They provide the essential means to meet crucial challenges such as universal access to food, energy, health coverage and communication technologies. They enable us to understand the impact of the currently nearly 8 billion people on the planet and to act to limit, and sometimes even to reduce it: depletion of the ozone layer, climate change, depletion of natural resources, extinction of living species.
Applications of technology are easy to recognize. On the other hand, contributions of basic, curiosity-based, sciences are not well appreciated. They are nonetheless at the basis of major technological advances that stimulate innovation, as well as essential for training future professionals and for developing capacity of populations who can take part in decisions that affect their future. UNESCO is well aware of this: its “Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers”, revised in 2017, recalls the importance of bringing together politicians, scientists, diplomats, international organizations, entrepreneurs and every goodwill person.The International Year of Basic Sciences for Development, that we will organize in 2022, will focus on these links between basic sciences and the Sustainable Development Goals. This will be a unique opportunity to convince all stakeholders that through a basic understanding of nature, actions taken will be more effective, for the common good. »
These are the words of Michel Spiro, President of IUPAP (International Union of Pure and Applied Physics) and Chair of the Steering Committee for the proclamation of an International Year of Basic Sciences for Development in 2022.
The proposal of 2022 as the International Year of Basic Sciences for Development was well received and got the oral and then formal support of the representatives of: ICSU (International Council for Science), ISSC (International Social Sciences Council), IUPAC (International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry), IAU (International Astronomical Union), IMU (International Mathematical Union), IUBS (International Union of Biological Sciences), IUCr (International Union of Crystallography), IUMRS (International Union of Materials Research Society), IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics), ICTP (Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics), EPS (European Physical Society), CERN (European Organization for Particle Physics), JINR (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research), IRD (Institut de Recherches pour le Développement), SESAME (Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East), Weizmann Institute. The proposal was presented to UNESCO by the Ambassador of Jordan, with the support of Nigeria, Russia and Vietnam.
The resolution for the proclamation of an International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development in 2022 was adopted by the UNESCO Executive Board in October 2019 and the UNESCO General Conference in November 2019. It was also welcomed by the World Science Forum 2019 in Budapest. It will have to be proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2020. Hence the IYBSD – now IYBSSD – initiative counts on you all to this end!