Barcelona Takes Center Stage As The World Capital Of Science Diplomacy

(MENAFN- EIN Presswire)

Over 1,300 scientists, diplomats, and Nobel laureates from 100 countries gathered in Barcelona to discuss the future of Science and Diplomacy

Barcelona hosts the World Science diplomacy Summit, known as the 'Davos' of Science and technology

The World Science Diplomacy Summit is organized by SciTech DiploHub, UNESCO, UN agencies, the EU, and in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council, among others leading local and international organizations

Barcelona has emerged as the global hub for discussing the social, ethical, and diplomatic impacts of science and tech. It's no coincidence this summit is dubbed the 'Davos' of science and technology.” - Alexis Roig, CEO of SciTech DiploHub

BARCELONA, SPAIN, July 11, 2024 /EINPresswire / -- Over 1,300 global leaders, including science ministers, state secretaries, Nobel laureates, executives from technology and pharmaceutical companies, and ambassadors from nearly 100 countries, have gathered in Barcelona for the World Science Diplomacy Summit.

Co-organized by SciTech DiploHub , the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub, jointly with UNESCO , several United Nations agencies, the European Union, and with the support of the Barcelona City Council and the Government of Spain, this summit has featured the participation of 47 science academies, over 50 universities, and 20 leading companies in technology and life sciences.

From July 5th to 10th, attendees explored the potential of science and technology as tools for international cooperation and addressing global challenges with more than 15 high-level plenaries, 21 side events, and about thirty visits to research and diplomatic organizations in Barcelona, as well as a parallel executive training program in science diplomacy that took place at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI). The three official venues of the Summit were the Ciutadella Campus of Pompeu Fabra University, the Pedralbes Royal Palace, and the facilities of Barcelona Activa, the leading tech hub of Barcelona, along with other institutions in the city that hosted visits and parallel events.


The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, highlighted the importance of science for global human well-being, ((Science today is omnipresent and ubiquitous, from what we eat to the phones in our pockets. It is a driver of development, necessary everywhere and at all times, and everyone has the right to benefit from it. This is why we talk about science diplomacy: science knows no borders and is a tool for global understanding and collaboration)). Azoulay took the opportunity to remind that Barcelona will also host the Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination in December, reaffirming its commitment to global challenges, and announced that Barcelona will be the host city of the World Science Diplomacy Summit until 2028.

In her address, the Ambassador of Pakistan to the European Union, Amna Baloch, noted how science diplomacy is ((reshaping the role of foreign action of states, emphasizing the role of collaboration with new agents such as research centers, universities, or the private sector, in areas such as talent mobility, sustainability, or improvements in health systems.))

For the Princess of Jordan, Sumaya bint Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan and of Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), as well as UNESCO's Special Envoy for Science for Peace, ((science can play a key role as a space for cooperation and intercultural exchange, even in situations of conflict or international tensions and with countries representing different political and value systems. Science and technology diplomacy is allowing us to have conversations in Barcelona this week that otherwise would not take place.))

Another paradigmatic case of the role of science diplomacy is the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN ). This intergovernmental organization, established at the French-Swiss border in 1954, brings together some thirty member states and around 17,000 scientists and technicians from more than 110 nationalities. In the words of Archana Sharma, Director of International Relations and Principal Researcher at CERN, ((science diplomacy acts at the interface between science, politics, and diplomacy to make evidence-based decisions, overcoming purely national interests. Barcelona, as the first city in the world with a science diplomacy strategy, is paving the way for other global cities, such as Geneva, which is trying to replicate the Barcelona model.))


A key announcement has been the launch this 2024 of the new Science Diplomacy Center for Africa, based in Kigali (Rwanda). This pioneering project is made possible through a collaboration between the Barcelona City Council, SciTech DiploHub, the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), and the Association of African Universities.

Furthermore, SciTech DiploHub has announced the upcoming Science Diplomacy Center for Africa for the Mediterranean and the Middle East, in collaboration with about ten entities from the region and expected to open in 2025. According to Zehra Sayers, former chair of the Advisory Committee of the SESAME synchrotron in the Middle East, ((science and technology can facilitate the free exchange of ideas beyond our cultures, languages, and religions. To address many of the great global challenges we share, science provides us with a universal language and a good excuse to work together. The establishment of SciTech DiploHub in the region is excellent news.)) SESAME is seen as a milestone in science diplomacy and science for peace: the project brings together countries like Israel, Iran, Turkey, and Palestine in multiple scientific collaborations in research and talent mobility programs, and will be one of the main partners in this new project.


This international event not only highlighted the importance of science in global diplomacy but also women's leadership in this field. 61% of the speakers were women, a figure that rises to 73% in the High-Level Plenaries. ((We want to emphasize the role of women in leadership positions in science, technology, and diplomacy,)) stated Alexis Roig, CEO of SciTech DiploHub and Barcelona's Chief Science and Tech Envoy. ((Barcelona's role as the focal point for discussions on the social, ethical, and diplomatic aspects of science and technology governance places our research and innovation ecosystem at the international forefront. It is no coincidence, therefore, that this week, Barcelona and this summit have been dubbed the 'Davos' of science and technology.)) Roig added, referring to the annual business meeting that the World Economic Forum hosts in this city every year.

Additionally, the summit tackled vital topics like climate change, global health, energy transition, and artificial intelligence. This event has reinforced Barcelona's status as the global epicenter of science and technology diplomacy, establishing itself as a key venue for forging international alliances for the future.

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