NXPO President Dr. Kitipong Promwong, along with Policy Specialist Dr. Soontharee Namliwal, attended the meeting of UNESCO Natural Sciences Commission (SC Commission) on 13-14 November 2023. The meeting was one of several events held during the 42nd Session of the UNESCO General Conference at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.
Following the election of Dr. Tamara Elzein, Secretary General of the National Council for Scientific Research of Lebanon, as the chairperson, the meeting deliberated on five agenda items: 1) Major Programme II – Natural Sciences and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission supporting member countries in advancing science, technology, research, and innovation to achieve sustainable development in economic, social and environmental dimensions by 2023; 2) Establishment of category 2 institutes and centres under the auspices of UNESCO; 3) Designation of May 20th as World Metrology Day to recognize the significant contribution of metrology to economic growth and sustainable development; 4) Operational Strategy for Small Island Developing States (SIDS); and 5) Proposal for the proclamation by the United Nations of 2025 as an international year of quantum science and technology.
During the SC Commission meeting, Dr. Kitipong made the following statements:
- Thailand supports UNESCO’s endeavor to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and endorses Major Programme II – Natural Sciences and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
- Thailand supports the strengthening of international cooperation to address global challenges such as technological disruption, climate change, and geopolitical and demographic changes.
- Thailand has been implementing various initiatives to address current and future global challenges, with a notable example being the higher education sandbox scheme, aimed at delivering novel educational programs that meet the country’s demands. This experience can be shared with interested UNESCO member parties.
- Climate change and its negative effects on ocean are pressing issues that impact many countries including Thailand which is situated between two major oceans. The impact of climate change includes frequent floods, extreme drought and water scarcity.
- Thailand proposes that UNESCO increases the research and innovation budget for its regional subsidiary bodies, especially secretariat and regional offices, responsible for Decade Collaborative Centre (DCC) and Decade Coordination Office (DCO) serving as the driving force of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030.
The UNESCO General Conference in convened every two years with the objective of reviewing UNESCO’s plans, budgets, and activities and determining various policies to guide its operations. The 42nd session of the General Conference, which took place from 7-22 November 2023 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, consisted of a General Assembly, meetings of various UNESCO commissions responsible for issues such as education; science; social and human sciences; culture; communication and information; and programme support and external relations, as well as a Joint Meeting of Commissions. The leader of the Thai delegation, Education Minister Police General Permpoon Chidchob attended the opening ceremony and delivered a statement at the General Assembly, while Thai delegates took part in commission meetings.
For more information on the 42nd session of the UNESCO General Conference, please visit https://www.unesco.org/en/general-conference/42?hub=420.