UNESCO Executive Council extends UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize for six years

On 17th October, the UNESCO Executive Council decided to extend by six years the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize aimed at the Promotion of Research into Life Sciences.

The agreement to extend the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize was signed in Paris by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Simeon Oyono Esono, accompanied by the Minister for Education, University teaching and Sports, JesA�s Engonga Ndong, and by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Ambassador to France, Miguel Oyono Ndong Mifumu.

Oyono Esono, during his speech, congratulated the support from a large number of friendly countries for the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize, aimed at assisting progress in scientific research, and the eradication of pandemics that threaten human life. He also mentioned the support of the Head of State, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, for the continuation of the prize.

It is with honour and satisfaction that I am speaking at this 205th Session of the Executive Council, above all, in order to express in the name of H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo the deepest gratitude and recognition of the people and Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea for the support shown for the continuity of the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Investigation in Life Sciences. I also wish to take advantage of the opportunity to express my most sincere thanks to the French people and Government for the magnificent welcome and hospitality, since our arrival in the cosmopolitan city of Paris”, said the minister.

In addition, he praised the trust and support provided by the large majority of friendly brother countries present at the event, and declared full determination and the absolute joint desire of member States to promote scientific investigation via UNESCO, in order to face pandemics, epidemics, and any susceptible situation threatening or altering the harmony, peace and tranquillity of humanity.

It is testimony to the deep respect for the power of human imagination and creativity, in order to boost and motivate research to save, improve and prolong human lives. As has been shown since the institutionalisation of this prize to the present, it has been seen that the reason it was founded was to fight pandemics, raise scientific research into seeking viable solutions to all types of situations causing harm to human health, and not for political reasons. And this we think that to oppose the prize is to side with human suffering and the degradation of human societies. It is obvious that scientific knowledge, implemented as solutions in the service of society, is a moral duty that demands political commitment and inclusive solidarity of all States, international institutions, and citizens, given that the actions of this prize constitute vital hope for millions of people with dreams who wish to live in a world without illness and without poverty. Recognising and trusting in the universality of science, it is for that reason that we think the benefits of science are also universal, and this is achieved when the will and effort of solidarity is associated with science, together with the demand for cooperation between all institutions and people involved because, without all of them, current and future society in the world will not be equal, because they contribute complementary values and knowledge which allows the construction of a fairer, much better society. In accordance with this line of thought, Equatorial Guinea will continue to stand firm in this direction, and will not spare any effort in its commitment to continue to support UNESCO through scientific research. Since its first edition in 2012, this prize has become an important instrument and promotional tool for life science research. The diversity of the prize-winners in previous editions has highlighted the fact that science can be a bridge between cultures, and an instrument for dialogue between peoples.

For that very special reason, I wish to praise the highly transparent actions taken by UNESCO in the selection of the prize-winners, for their magnificent trials and results obtained during their research into improving the quality of life of the human species. We must recognise the suitability of this prize to align itself directly with the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the global agenda of the United Nations, within the area of improving the health and living conditions of populations; and the scientific achievements of previous editions, stressing the suitable nature of their fight against desertification, natural imbalances, drought and famine, the shortage of food, climate change, etc.

Before these facts, Equatorial Guinea is reiterating its gratitude to UNESCO for its involvement in intensifying and strengthening international solidarity, not only in the area of support for initiatives such as this one, but also for allowing the transfer of specific technologies and cooperation in priority areas such as health and education, which are central points for the development of this globalised world. It is within this vision that Equatorial Guinea urges UNESCO to define a better communication and disclosure strategy which will allow greater spreading of this Prize to the main scientific institutions through out the world.

I do not want to end this speech without reiterating once again our most sincere thanks to all member States for supporting the continuity of this valuable life project, for providing your trust, and for giving us the backing so that the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Prize for Life Science Research remains relevant time and time again”, concluded the minister.

Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office

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