UNESCO mobilizes 122 countries to promote open science and reinforced cooperation in the face of COVID-19

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UNESCO on 30 March hosted an online meeting of representatives of ministries in charge of science all over the world. Participants included 77 ministers, including governmental secretaries representing a total of 122 countries, as well as Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Moisés Omar Halleslevens Acevedo, former Vice President of Nicaragua and Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist.
The objective of the meeting was to exchange views on the role of international cooperation in science and increased investment in the context of COVID-19.
The key issue of open science, for which UNESCO has been working on an International Recommendation since November 2019, was a major topic of discussion.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay called on governments to reinforce scientific cooperation and integrate open science in their research programmes to prevent and mitigate global crises.
“The COVID-19 pandemic raises our awareness of the importance of science, both in research and international cooperation. The present crisis also demonstrates the urgency of stepping up information sharing through open science. The time has come for us to commit all together,” the Director-General declared.