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Cablegate: Usunesco: New Division Created for Science Policy

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 004821

SIPDIS

FROM USMISSION UNESCO

STATE FOR IO/T JANE COWLEY, EB PAUL ACETO, OES/STAS ANDREW
W. REYNOLDS
STATE FOR NSC GENE WHITNEY
STATE FOR NSF
STATE FOR DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ROBIN GILCHRIST

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC TSPL EAID SENV SOCI UNESCO KSCI
SUBJECT: USUNESCO: NEW DIVISION CREATED FOR SCIENCE POLICY
& SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

1. Summary and Introduction. UNESCO DG Matsuura has
announced the creation of a new Division for Science and
Sustainable Development (SC/PSD) in the natural sciences
sector to be directed by Mustafa El Tayeb, formerly the
Director of the Science Analysis and Policies Division. The
division streamlines various science sector units already
working on sustainable development issues. It appears to
have been created to contribute to UNESCO's program on the
"Decade of Education for Sustainable Development" (DESD),
still in its developmental stages. End summary and
introduction.

A Streamlined Structure to Promote Science Policy And
Development

2. El Tayeb told science officer and intern (note taker)
that the goals of the reorganization of the division
include: (1) streamlining sustainable development efforts of
small units that existed within the natural sciences sector;
(2) ensuring that small island developing states are given
attention; and (3) supporting UNESCO's leading role in the
UN's "Decade of Education for Sustainable Development"
(DESD)(launched with fanfare in March).

3. The new Division for Science Policy & Sustainable
Development is structured to include four sections: Science
Policy Formulation (PSD/SP); Sustainable Development of
Coastal Regions and Small Island Developing States
(PSD/CSI); Science Policy Studies and Information (PSD/POS);
and the DESD [Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development] Coordinating Unit (PSD/DCU). El Tayeb
emphasized that his division differs from other science
sector divisions in that it does not include any
intergovernmental programs; he noted that the science policy
programs need to be country specific.

4. El Tayeb said that the new division would continue the
work of the former Science Analysis and Policies Division in
promoting the UN Millennium Goals in science and technology.
It will seek to foster growth for developing countries by
providing guidance to policymakers, creating networks with
private industry, developing university programs, promoting
entrepreneurship training, and building technology parks and
incubators via the UNESCO Chairs Program. El Tayeb said
there is a need for linkages between universities and
industry so that universities are training students for
actual jobs: "Education for Jobs". In this regard, SC/PSD
will continue to focus on regional workshops focused on
science and technology training and policymaking for
developing countries in Africa, the Arab world, Asia, the
Caribbean, Latin America, as well as for small island member
states.

5. Parliamentarians continue to be a key target audience,
El Tayeb reported. He said that the World Conference on
Science held in Budapest in June 1999 - a roundtable for
parliamentary leaders of member states - has driven many of
UNESCO's science sector initiatives because developing
states have called for this type of technical support. The
Second World Conference on Science was held in Budapest in
2003, with Third World Conference on Science planned for
Nov. 2005, also in Budapest; conferences will be held every
two years thereafter. The U.S. National Science Foundation
has participated in the Budapest Conferences.

Forging A Science Sector Role in the "Decade of Education
for Sustainable Development"

6. Regarding the "Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development" (DESD), El Tayeb said that SC/PSD is working
"to create a common policy for sustainable development" with
the Basic and Engineering Sciences Division of the Science
Sector; the Social Sciences Sector; and the Higher Education
Division of the Education Sector. Within the Education
Sector, SC/PSD is also working on DESD with the Office of
Quality Education, headed by American Mary Joy Pigozzi. El
Tayeb explained that the Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development is a priority for the newly named Assistant
Director General for Education, Peter Smith (U.S). (Note:
this has been confirmed in our conversations with ADG Smith.
End Note.)

7. To provide "content" for the science sector's
contribution to the DESD, El Tayeb intends to draw on the
Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) as a tool to
educate developing country policymakers, academics and
scientific researchers. The EOLSS project was started in
1996 and managed by the UNESCO-EOLSS Joint Committee. It
contains 6,000 articles by experts in the natural sciences,
1,500 of which are from USA experts. It has not yet been
officially published (Oxford: Eolss Publishers Co. Ltd. For
further information go to: http://www.eolss.net -- login
username: uejcsec, password: eolssaxes). The encyclopedia's
usefulness to developing states is limited as it is
currently available in English only.

8. The Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, which El Tayeb
described as a compendium of verified knowledge from experts
around the world, is meant to be a tangible product to
promote scientific education for dealing with policy
concerns. El Tayeb contended that there is a paradigm shift
in education, which requires content to be integrated around
problems and issues, in addition to scientists seeking
knowledge in and of itself.

9. DG Matsuura has underlined to his staff the importance
of UNESCO's role in the "Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development" (DESD). But the resources to be devoted to the
DESD and the modalities of UNESCO's implementation are still
evolving.
KOSS

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