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From the charter of the United Nations university


Opening address

From the charter of the United Nations university


Purposes and structure

  1. The United Nations University shall be an international community of scholars, engaged in research, post-graduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. In achieving its stated objectives, it shall function under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (hereinafter referred to as UNESCO), through a central programming and co-ordinating body and a network of research and post-graduate training centres and programmes located in the developed and developing countries.
  2. The University shall devote its work to research into the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations and its agencies, with due attention to the social sciences and the humanities as well as natural sciences, pure and applied.
  3. The research programmes of the institutions of the University shall include, among other subjects, coexistence between peoples having different cultures, languages and social systems; peaceful relations between States and the maintenance of peace and security; human rights; economic and social change and development; the environment and the proper use of resources; basic scientific research and the application of the results of science and technology in the interests of development; and universal human values related to the improvement of the quality of life.
  4. The University shall disseminate the knowledge gained in its activities to the United Nations and its agencies, to scholars and to the public, in order to increase dynamic interaction in the world-wide community of learning and research.
  5. The University and all those who work in it shall act in accordance with the spirit of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO and with the fundamental principles of contemporary international law.
  6. The University shall have as a central objective of its research and training centres and programmes the continuing growth of vigorous academic and scientific communities everywhere and particularly in the developing countries, devoted to their vital needs in the fields of learning and research within the framework of the aims assigned to those centres and programmes in the present Charter. It shall endeavour to alleviate the intellectual isolation of persons in such communities in the developing countries which might otherwise become a reason for their moving to developed countries.
  7. In its post-graduate training the University shall assist scholars, especially young scholars, to participate in research in order to increase their capability to contribute to the extension, application and diffusion of knowledge. The University may also undertake the training of persons who will serve in international or national technical assistance programmes, particularly in regard to an interdisciplinary approach to the problems with which they will be called upon to deal.


Academic freedom and autonomy

  1. The University shall enjoy autonomy within the framework of the United Nations. It shall also enjoy the academic freedom required for the achievement of its objectives, with particular reference to the choice of subjects and methods of research and training, the selection of persons and institutions to share in its tasks, and freedom of expression. The University shall decide freely on the use of the financial resources allocated for the execution of its functions ....



A Workshop on Organic Residues in Rural Communities was convened in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 11-12 December 1979, under the auspices of the Indonesian Government Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Government of the Netherlands, and the United Nations University. Its purpose was to discuss ways and means in which unused organic residues in rural areas of developing countries could be best utilized and turned to human benefit. The workshop generated recommendations for concrete research and development projects to be undertaken in Indonesia.

In total, 52 participants attended the workshop: 24 from Indonesia and 28 from abroad. The foreign participants came from Australia (2), Fiji (1), France (1), India (2), Japan (2), Malaysia (1), the Netherlands (7), the Philippines (3), Sri Lanka (1), Sweden (1), Tanzania (1), Thailand (1), the United States (1), Unesco (1), and the United Nations University (3). Of the Indonesian participants, 10 represented universities and 14 government research institutions.

The meeting was organized in the form of plenary and working group sessions. A general description of bioconversion activities within the programme of the United Nations University was given, followed by the presentation of a number of papers on various aspects of bioconversion. A general discussion was held at the end of each session of the plenary. There were 17 scientific papers presented in these four plenary sessions, covering the importance of residues for various purposes, the agicultural residues available, and the current ways of using them. Summaries of the panel discussions are printed here along with the papers for each session.

After the presentation of all papers, the working group meeting discussed and formulated possible research and development project proposals. Originally, it was planned to have three working groups, to discuss fibrous wastes, carbohydrate residues, and other residues. Because of the obvious interest among the participants, a fourth group on biogas was also formed. These working groups discussed proposals for research and development projects that could be funded by sponsoring bodies. The recommendations of the three initial working groups are summarized and a fuller report of the group on biogas is given at the end of this book. A small team then formulated follow-up actions and research and development proposals for bilateral co-operation between Indonesia and the Netherlands.

We are grateful to the United Nations University, the Government of the Netherlands, the Office of the State Minister for Research and Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the provincial government of Bali, and all others who have contributed to the workshop, for all of their efforts and support to make this gathering possible.

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences


Opening address

H. Tb. Bachtiar Rifai
Chairman, Indonesian Institute of Sciences

In this gathering you will review the situation of organic residues in Indonesia as well as in other countries to assess the availability and avenues of utilization of these residues and their effects on the environment.

Among the economic features of such a country as Indonesia and perhaps the countries of some of our foreign guests are a high population growth rate and agricultural production. The effort to produce food for the growing population inevitably generates enormous quantities of organic residues that are not utilized or, at best, are under-utilized. Some of these residues are exerting a strain on the environment.

Another feature of countries like ours is the inadequate development of secondary and tertiary industries. Whether the secondary commodity is used or not depends entirely on economic and social constraints. There must be an economic incentive to utilize these residues, even though they are pollutants, and the necessity to abate that pollution should already be an economic incentive. In Indonesia the inadequate use of these residues is due either to their wide dispersal among small production centres - which creates collection and transportation problems - or simply to a lack of the necessary technological information and skill. Serious efforts should be made to find economical ways to utilize these residues. If this can be done beneficially, they will no longer be wastes, but become new resources to add to our existing, limited ones. In this respect, use of residues means better resource utilization.

These residues are cheap, abundant, and renewable. To deal with them we need to build a multidisciplinary venture impinging on all aspects of the economic life of the community. The basis for their utilization is their chemical composition. This includes recognition of the components that could make the residue valuable, e.g., the carbon to nitrogen ratio, or appropriate nutrients, vitamins, and growth factors. Analysis of inert fractions is also very important because they may change the physical characteristics of the residue and affect its use. Detailed information on the characteristics of the residue will determine the appropriate and environmentally sound technology that should be employed to prepare it for use.

There is no one best approach to organic residue utilization. In each and every situation, possible alternatives need to be evaluated in order to choose the most suitable technology to achieve the desired environmental, economic, and social objectives.


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