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Science for water cooperation: sharing data, knowledge and innovation- 18 November 2013

UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office’s Programme Officer for Natural Sciences, Ms. Niloofar Sadeghi
delivered a statement on behalf of Head of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office.

Every year around the globe, the World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated on 10th November. As the name suggests, the aim of this day – which was established by UNESCO in 2001 – is to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. At the same time it underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of our remarkably fragile planet – the one we call home.

The theme of this year’s world science day was “Science for water cooperation: sharing data, knowledge and innovation” which falls within the framework of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation 2013- led by UNESCO globally.

To celebrate world science day 2013, UNESCO Tehran in collaboration with Iran Association for Popularization of Sciences held a one-day gathering at Sharif University of Technology, in Tehran.

The audience consisted of government officials including Chief Advisor to President of Iran, Mr. Akbar Torkan, Head of Iran Association for Popularization of Sciences, Ms. Akram Ghadimialong with United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gary Lewis and UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office’s Programme Officer for Natural Sciences, Ms. Niloofar Sadeghi. Other participants included professors, university students as well as media.


Head of Iran Association for Popularization of Sciences,
Ms. Akram Ghadimialong was among the speakers
at World Science Day for Peace and Development

In addressing the gathering on behalf of Hiranand Purkait, Head of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, Ms. Sadeghi appreciated that this gathering had ‘once again provided the opportunity to remind the importance and relevance of science to our daily lives’. She emphasized the importance of water cooperation for human health and well-being, for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and for lasting peace and sustainable development.

“Cooperation must be our byword,” said Ms. Sadeghi, adding: “This is essential to preserve our ecosystem, to eradicate poverty and to advance social equity, including gender equality”. At the end she reaffirmed UNESCO’s commitment to continue to work hand in hand with all its partners in promoting science, technology and innovation.


UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gary Lewis at Sharif University

After delivering the UN Secretary-General’s message, Mr. Lewis shared with the audience his own reflections as the UN Resident Coordinator. He announced that the UN in Iran is ready to help the country to tackle water shortage it faces which is in part caused by the impact of climate change. Mr. Lewis said that one example of his support is Lake Uromiyeh for which plans have been developed in collaboration with the Government to conserve the water in the Uromiyeh basin.

Mr. Lewis said “I am extremely pleased at the level of seriousness and the level of visibility that is being given to the issue of Lake Uromiyeh by President Rouhani and his advisors and I would like to say that the United Nations is here – in Iran – at your service as we have been for 40 years with the intention of doing what we can to support the Government and the people to solve this problem.”


Mr. Akbar Torkan, Head of Iran Association for Popularization
of Sciences delivered the message addressed to the gathering
by President Rouhani

Mr. Torkan delivered the message addressed to the gathering by President Rouhani which reviewed the critical situation of water scarcity in Iran and overuse of groundwater in many parts which has caused drastic drop of the groundwater table in over 300 aquifers across the country. “Overuse of water resources has caused the Lake Uromiyeh crises while a number of wetlands such as Bakhtegan, Tashtak, and Gavkhouni drying up” said Mr. Torkan.


World Science Day for Peace and Development was celebrated in Tehran
on 18 November 2013 at Sharif University

During the event, the video-message of Ms. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, was shared with the audience. In her message she stated that:

"Today, in a world changing quickly, on a planet under pressure, we need more science, we need more scientists. Science is a force that brings people together, to join hands in the pursuit of knowledge. Science is our best ally to tackle the consequences of climate change, to foster the innovation all societies need today."

She added:

"In this International Year of Water Cooperation, we focus on sharing knowledge, data and innovation, around water. Water is our most precious resource, essential to life and human development. There is enough water in the world – our challenge is to share and manage it sustainably and together."

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