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Science for Dialogue and Peace Building UNESCO Initiatives Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO UNESCO, Science and Peace ‘Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed’

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slide1

Science for Dialogue and Peace Building

  • UNESCO Initiatives

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

slide2

UNESCO, Science and Peace

  • ‘Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed’
  • (Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO)
  • Science is a system of communication
  • Science is an instrument for stimulating dialogue
  • Science is a common heritage
  • UNESCO promotes scientific cooperation for peaceful purposes

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

slide3

How can science promote a culture of peace?

Science creates bonds of cooperation across borders and between peoples of different traditions and creeds. It is well known that cooperation in science makes allies, not enemies and paves the way to joint creative work which is conducive to peace.

Science based on objective analysis fosters a proper system of values in the minds of people and thus promotes a culture of peace.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

slide4

Premises

  • To quote the Science Agenda – Framework for Action approved at the World Conference on Science (Budapest in the Summer of 1999): “Worldwide cooperation among scientists is a valuable and constructive contribution to global security and to the development of peaceful interactions among different nations, societies and cultures”.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

slide5

Israeli Palestinian Science Organization(IPSO)

  • The idea to create an Israeli –Palestinian organization of scientists was generated at the UNESCO Round Table on Science for Peace in the Middle East. The meeting gathering Israeli and Palestinian scientists was held in Paris on the occasion of the Celebration of the World Science Day for Peace and Development (10 November 2002)
  • UNESCO provided moral and financial support for the establishment and launching of IPSO within the international community in November 2004 as well as to the IPSO International Scientific Committee meeting in Budapest, Hungary, 2005.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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IPSO’s objectives

  • The main objectives are:
  • Promote joint, high-quality scientific research between Israeli and Palestinian scientists who want to work together in the region;
  • Build a science and scholarship-based bridge of good will between Israelis and Palestinians;
  • Create an environment in which Israeli and Palestinian scholars and scientists will meet and establish dialogue;
  • Support joint scholarly and scientific projects through funding and administrative assistance.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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IPSO’s developments since its creation

  • In August 2004 IPSO launched a Call for Proposals;
  • Some 65 proposals were submitted jointly, by Israeli and Palestinian scientists.
  • IPSO's International Scientific Council gave its approval to some of them and grants were allocated to selected projects.
  • IPSO now has the formal endorsement of 25 national academies

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

slide8

Why a synchrotron light source in the Middle East?

The extraordinary power of synchrotron light has become an essential scientific resource. Since the first light source in the late1940s, more than 50 have come into operation worldwide. A further 10 are currently under construction and 13 are at the planning stage.

There is no light source in the Middle East although the need for one had been recognized by eminent scientists such as the Nobel laureate Abdus Salam more than 20 years ago.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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What is SESAME?

  • An independent, intergovernmental centre set up under the auspices of UNESCO and located in Jordan. Its current members are Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority and Turkey. Countries having observer status are France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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Mission of SESAME

  • SESAME will be a world-class laboratory that provides facilities for basic research and many applications, thereby promoting science and technology in the region.
  • It will provide extensive training for scientists, engineers and technicians and has already started to do this.
  • Through science, SESAME will promote a culture of peace in the Middle East.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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How Does SESAME Work?

  • SESAME will have as its centrepiece a synchrotron radiation source based on a gift from Germany of the 0.8 gigavolt (GeV) BESSY I storage ring and injector system which stopped operation in Berlin at the end of November 1999 and have been transported to Jordan. The machine is being upgraded to 2.5 GeV, and its design has been based on the scientific needs expressed by users.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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SESAME: A SUCCESSFUL TOOL FOR NORTH-SOUTH COOPERATION

  • (a) The world's scientifically most advanced countries have observer status in SESAME.
  • (b) Germany donated the 0.8 GeV BESSY I storage ring and injector system to SESAME.
  • (c) France is donating a complete beamline and other equipment dismantled at LURE (Laboratoire pour l’Utilisation du Rayonnement Electromagnétique).
  • (d) SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) in the US intends to transfer to SESAME equipment for the beamlines.
  • Synchrotron radiation facilities in Europe, the USA and Asia have provided about 35 scientists and technicians from the Middle East with training for periods of up to two years.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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SESAME: A SUCCESSFUL TOOL FOR NORTH-SOUTH COOPERATION

(f) Japan provided US$130K for the first SESAME users’ meeting.

(g) In 2006, the IAEA is granting 10 long-term fellowships to scientists from SESAME countries. It is in the process of setting up an inter-regional project for 2007-2010 devoted to SESAME (annual budget US$150K to US$200K).

(h) ICTP has provided funding for a number of SESAME activities.

(i) CERN has signed a tripartite cooperative agreement with SESAME and Jordan.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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HOW DOES UNESCO HELP SESAME?

(a) UNESCO is the backbone behind SESAME: the Organization initiated the project, provided secretariat and financial services, and helped identify a host country and draft the basic legal texts of the Centre.(b) SESAME was created under the auspices of UNESCO and it is the depository of its Statutes.(c) UNESCO actively encourages countries to become members or observers of the Centre and helps to attract funding for it.(d) UNESCO helps develop networking with synchrotron radiation laboratories in other countries and helps facilitate the acquisition of equipment by SESAME.(e) It associates SESAME with its programmes and it will promote the use of the SESAME Centre for the implementation of UNESCO's programme in physics and allied areas of the basic sciences.(f) It offers the opportunity to spread excellence in the region by organizing training activities using the facilities available at SESAME

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO

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Final Remarks

  • IPSO and SESAME are illustrations of the Organization’s mission to contribute to peace through concrete actions.
  • IPSO and SESAME’s positive developments reinforce our belief that scientist-to-scientist and institution-to-institution interactions between Palestinians and Israelis are possible, and indeed vital to the future success of the region. The case of SESAME, which also includes other countries, is already demonstrating how efficient and important this cooperation can be in the region and beyond.
  • In supporting these initiatives, we hope to contribute to increased professional exchanges and partnerships, which can bring shared visions and solutions to bear upon common scientific issues vital for development and peace in the region.

Walter Erdelen Assistant Director-General Natural Sciences Sector UNESCO