8 August 2007
Ministers of Social Development from 19 countries held a round table 16 -17 July in Paris during the 8th session of the Intergovernmental Council of the UNESCO programme on Management of Social Transformations (MOST).The ministers discussed how linkages can be created between social science research and policy development to strengthen the capacity of governments to act effectively for the welfare of their citizens and social development in their countries.
The debates conveyed the necessity to strengthen the dialogue between social science research and policy development and to associate civil society representatives in order to face challenges generated by globalization.
UNESCO Director General, Koichiro Matsuura made the opening speech; he underlined that “the MOST program has made a specific effort to support multi-partite networks at sub-regional and regional level with a view to producing policy-relevant knowledge under its priority themes”.
Zola S. Skweyiya, South African Minister of Social Development and President of the MOST Intergovernmental Council, stressed the intended outcome of the programme: the realization of values such as justice, freedom, human dignity and the enhancement of sustainable development.
Nazli Choucri, Egyptian researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States), and President of the MOST Scientific Council noted that “researchers are often quite impatient; they expect straight and fast answers. On the other hand, politicians would rather give diplomatic answers. This does not facilitate the dialogue between them.”
Among other recommendations, IGC members stressed that the Millennium for Development Goals will not be reached without strengthening dialogue between researchers and social policies, and urged all member states to accelerate the implementation of the MOST National Liaison Committees.