Ministers and high level representatives responsible for science from South East European countries met in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 23 November 2012 on occasion of the Ministerial Round Table on Science, Technology & Innovation, jointly organized by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy).
The high level discussions led to the unanimous adoption of a joint declaration that outlines a coherent roadmap of science priorities at both national and regional levels and the enhancing of a science-policy-society interface based upon equity, inclusion, participation and sharing of knowledge.
The participating Ministers of Science and Education of South East European countries shared the common view that science transcends political borders, enhancing cooperation and acting as a catalyst for consolidating stability in South East Europe (SEE). Knowledge production and accessible diffusion play a key role for the enhancement of innovation, sustainable economic development, and social well-being. To this aim, the regional cooperation in the fields of science, technology and innovation (STI) shall be strengthened.
The joint declaration will be a means of mobilizing STI for peace and sustainable development. It also highlights the role played by UNESCO Venice Office as a catalyst and neutral broker in the SEE region in continuing to support and encourage the further development and implementation of effective regional research policies and infrastructures and collaborative networks for qualitative science communication.
Gretchen Kalonji, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, attended the Ministerial Round Table and, together with Sredoje Novic, Minister of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, chaired the encounter.
Ministers of Science and Education from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and the Republic of Srpska, as well as the Deputy Minister from The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the State Secretary of Serbia took the floor. Senior Ministerial advisors and high-level dignitaries representing Albania, Bulgaria and Romania, in like manner the Ambassadors from Greece and Turkey, also spoke. Representatives from other European countries (Austria, Italy and Switzerland) along with European and international organizations, such as the European Commission, participated in this event.
The Ministerial Round Table received support from the State Secretariat for Education and Research SER within the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs, the Italian Government, and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
Original source: UNESCO Office in Venice