The World Conference on Physics and Sustainable Development (WCPSD) offered a unique opportunity for the international physics community to meet and focus together on how physics can benefit the developing world.
Part of the celebration of the International Year of Physics 2005, the WCPSD, 31st October-2 November 2005, Durban, South Africa, was co-organized by UNESCO, ITCP, IUPAP and the South African Institute of Physics.
The Conference was opened by the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Mosibudi Mangena. Minister Mangena elaborated on projects of collaboration with global partners capitalizing on local talent and resources, initiative and ingenuity. These projects include the Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT), the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and the African Laser Centre.
Members of the International Advisory Committee attending the Conference met twice to brainstorm on the follow-up actions. Emphasis was placed on the need for Internet connectivity between Africa and other developing nations, an action agenda with benchmarks, and real and concrete cooperative actions which go beyond what one country can do alone.
The Conference was adjourned with the approval of the Preamble of the WCPSD Resolutions, as follows:
“We have come together in Durban, South Africa as representatives of the international physics community and many national physics societies, to put forth a plan of activities to confront sustainable development challenges facing the world. We have now agreed upon such a plan. As we leave this conference, we resolve to work vigorously together to put this plan into action. We recognize that the conference will not have been a success unless a year from now we and our physicist-colleagues are actively engaged in follow-up actions. We pledge to do our part to ensure that our planned activities are launched, and our conference goals are achieved.”
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