The Ministers of research, innovation and higher education of the CEI Member States gathered in Trieste on 13 December for their Ministerial Meeting on Science and Research.

The gathering under the title How can regional cooperation in science and technology foster sustainable development in CEI Member States? was chaired and hosted by the Minister of Education, University and Research Lorenzo Fioramonti representing the Italian CEI PresidencyHe 
underlined the presence of dynamic scientific realities in the CEI region with particular focus and importance on the exchange of experience in science and education among countries, in order to increase knowledge on sustainable development.

The President of the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Massimiliano Fedriga – in welcoming the Ministers at the seat of the FVG Region, highly praised the initiative and emphasised that international scientific cooperation constituted a strategy for common growth.

CEI Secretary General Roberto Antonione, specified how effective international scientific cooperation required strong political and diplomatic support. In this regard - he explained - we have begun to study the issue of Science Diplomacy, an emerging dimension of international relations that is generating a growing interest throughout Europe. [...] we believe the establishment of a CEI network of experts in Science Diplomacy can be particularly useful to broaden this debate and at the same time gather inputs and knowledge to promote further networking, research and training  in  this field.

The meeting was complemented with a presentation delivered by Prof. Stefano Fantoni who gave an insight on the programme of the forthcoming Euro Open Science Forum (ESOF 2020) taking place in Trieste on 5-9 July 2020, which will represent an opportunity to strengthen, even more, cooperation on scientific issues.

The main output of the meeting was the adoption of the “Trieste Declaration on Science” a framework within which to promote shared actions in favour of international cooperation and Science Diplomacy.

In summary:

  • it stresses the relevance to meet regularly in this format as part of the annual calendar of the CEI Presidency;
  • encourages the establishment of a CEI Network of Experts on Science Diplomacy, in order to explore this concept further including through the impelmentation of trainings, capacity building actions, research activities and networking; 
  • expresses support to improve crossborder and transnational Cooperation fields such as prevention and mitigation of natural disasters;
  • welcomes initiatives promoting, in the schooling systems of the CEI countries, knowledge concerning the challenges of sustainable development;
  • stresses that cooperation between the CEI and the United Nations (UN) should be enhanced through a stronger connection with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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