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UNU/UNESCO International Conference

23 & 24 August 2006

Science and Technology in the Era of Globalization

Globalization refers to the increasing cross-border movements of goods, money, information, ideas, and people, and to the concomitant interdependency of people and institutions around the world. This interconnectedness, and the changes it brings in living conditions and perspectives, creates both opportunities and challenges.

Globalization processes are driven by science and technology, particularly new information and communication technologies. At the same time, globalization has strongly influenced the ways in which scientific knowledge and new technologies are produced and disseminated: research and development agendas are defined not only by local or national needs, but by the requirements of the global marketplace. Both access to and creation of knowledge have become crucial factors for social and economic development in today's globalized world.

The 2006 UNU/UNESCO International Conference

This conference provides a forum for exploring how we can better, and more directly, harness scientific and technological progress for the promotion of peace and sustainable development.

It covers such salient issues as access to knowledge and benefit-sharing, the scope of intellectual property protection, and the ethical boundaries of scientific enquiry, with the aim of delineating the parameters within which societies can utilize the processes of globalization to foster the creation and diffusion of knowledge for the benefit of all.

In the public symposium on 23 August, eminent experts from around the world review the ways in which globalization is changing science and technology, and vice-versa, and assess the opportunities that these changes offer.

In the workshop on 24 August, panellists discuss how science and technology link with, and contribute to, economic and social development in four fundamental areas — knowledge-sharing, trade and technology transfer, society and policy-making, and science and technology education for sustainable development — and how globalization is influencing these processes.  




About the Conference Organizers


United Nations University (UNU) is an autonomous organ of the United Nations established by the General Assembly. In the three decades since UNU launched operations in 1975, the University has grown to encompass UNU Centre in Tokyo, a global network of 14 research and training centres/programmes, liaison offices at UN Headquarters and UNESCO Headquarters, and several UNU Associated Institutions. UNU operates as an international community of scholars with the mission of contributing "to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States".

UNU research, capacity development, and dissemination activities are focused within five thematic areas: peace and security; good governance — from local to global; development and poverty reduction; environment and sustainability; and science, technology, and society. More information is available at


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations system. According to its constitution, the Organization's main objective is to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the world's nations through education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion.

UNESCO pursues its action through five programme sectors: education; natural sciences; social and human sciences; culture; and communication and information. The Organization is headquartered in Paris, with over 50 field offices and several specialized institutes and centres throughout the world. Founded in 1946, UNESCO currently has 191 Member States. The Director-General is Koïchiro Matsuura (Japan). More information is available at

Note: Conference proceedings, papers, and presentations will be posted to these pages as material becomes available.


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