Joint Appeal for Open Science – UNESCO, WHO, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Stewardship of Science

Joint Appeal for Open Science
27/10/2020
We, the Directors-General of UNESCO and WHO and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, reaffirm the fundamental right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications and advocate for open, inclusive and collaborative science.

Considering that Open Science can reduce inequalities, help respond to the immediate challenges of Covid-19 and accelerate progress towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we therefore:
:: Call on every Member State to ensure the fundamental right to access scientific research and its applications, with a view to creating a global knowledge commons and closing existing gaps in science, technology and innovation, especially in developing countries and with respect to women;

:: Commit to supporting the international scientific community by fostering a culture of collaboration and solidarity, rather than competition, and by sharing research outcomes and knowledge wherever possible in order to make science widely accessible to everyone;

:: Commit to advocating for the development and sharing of legal frameworks and policies to effectively implement the principles of Open Science;

:: Recall that effective and sustainable public policies should rely on verified information, facts and scientific knowledge for the benefit of all;

:: Support the tremendous potential of science in meeting societal needs and shaping the future of humanity, when it is based on equal opportunities and scientific literacy for all;

:: Recognize that Open Science is critical to improving and maintaining socio-economic welfare and integration in the global economy, and that the growing interconnectedness of today’s world has helped shape a modern approach to science;

:: Acknowledge the power of scientific cooperation and diplomacy to unite nations, civil society, the private sector and the world, while stressing the importance of evidence-based decision-making;

:: Call on Member States and all stakeholders to join the Solidarity Call to Action and the WHO COVID-19 Technology Access Pool that seeks to facilitate sharing of knowledge, intellectual property and data for the response to the pandemic.

The core idea behind Open Science is to allow scientific information, data and outputs to be more widely accessible (Open Access) and more reliably harnessed (Open Data) with the active engagement of all stakeholders (Open to Society). The Open Science movement has emerged from the scientific community and has rapidly spread across nations, calling for the opening of the gates of knowledge. In a fragmented scientific and policy environment, a stronger global understanding of the opportunities and challenges of Open Science is needed.

We call upon all Member States, policy-makers, civil society representatives, youth networks and the scientific community to uphold the ideals of Open Science, at all stages of the scientific process, in view of the elaboration of the international recommendation on Open Science.