Director-General opens Ministerial Conference on “Energy in a Changing World”

Director-General opens Ministerial Conference on “Energy in a Changing World”
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 31 May, the Director-General, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, and the Minister of Industry and Energy of the Russian Federation, Mr Viktor Khristenko, opened the Ministerial Conference on “Energy in a Changing World” that took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

Messrs Murli Deora, the Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Andris Piebalgs, Eruopean Commissioner for Energy, also took part in the opening ceremony of this Conference.

In his opening address, the Director-General began by thanking the Russian Ministry of Industry and Energy for initiating the Ministerial Conference and paid special tribute to Minister Khristenko for the important role he has played in bringing energy to the forefront of the international agenda. He welcomed the timeliness of the Conference and the fact that it “will give particular importance to the role of science in developing sustainable forms of energy, and ways of reducing energy poverty”.

Underlining the importance of energy to meeting sustainable development targets and improving the living conditions of the rural poor, Mr Matsuura called on the Conference participants to examine ways in which energy poverty could be reduced, including the development of energy strategies and policies, the dissemination of relevant scientific knowledge and technology and the ensuring of local competencies. “In this regard, your discussions on science and sustainable energy development, in particular with respect to institutional and human resources development and science policy in the energy sector, will be of utmost interest” he said. “We must cope with increasing complexity, break down traditional disciplinary barriers, organize research relevant to policy-making, rethink education at all levels and communicate scientific information to non-technical user groups”.

Issues of global sustainable development and reduction of energy poverty were central to the discussions at the G-8 Summit held in St. Petersburg in June 2006. During the discussion on “Global Energy Security”, emphasis was placed on the need for an in-depth consideration of this problem. In particular, a pledge was taken, through the adoption of a Plan of Action on Global Energy Security, to enhance global energy security in several key areas. The Decisions and Plan of Action put in place a framework for the long-term enhancement of global energy supply systems, including the diversification of energy production and the development of alternative and renewable energy sources.

As a follow up to the St. Petersburg Summit and as a contribution to its Plan of Action, the Russian Federation launched the organisation of this Ministerial Conference. They called upon UNESCO, in its capacity as a forum for international cooperation, to join with them in its organisation. The Conference shall examine three main themes: Energy challenges; Science and Sustainable Energy Development; and Reducing Energy Poverty.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 078-2007
  • 04-06-2007
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