25 November 2019 - 26 November 2019
Vienna/Laxenburg, Austria

IIASA co-hosts global science diplomacy forum

IIASA co-hosts a high-level forum bringing together science advisors to ministers of foreign affairs from across the world and other experts in the practice, theory, and discussion of science diplomacy.



The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Vienna School of International Studies (Diplomatische Akademie Wien), and the Natural History Museum Vienna jointly hosted meetings of the Foreign Ministries Science and Technology Advisors Network (FMSTAN) and the Science Policy in Diplomacy and External Relations (SPIDER) network in Vienna and Laxenburg on 25-26 November 2019. 

Increasing the input of evidence-based science and technology into policy development and implementation is essential to overcoming many of the challenges the global community currently faces. In an increasingly trans-boundary world with constantly emerging complexities evidence-based information is vital for informed decision-making about foreign affairs. 

The FMSTAN/SPIDER meeting was attended by over 60 science advisors to ministers of foreign affairs. Leading experts helped drive, shape and develop the global discussion around the roles, advantages, and opportunities of using tools of science diplomacy in foreign affairs and in helping government officials dealing with external relations to fulfill their tasks.   

The event offered a range of thematic sessions as well as two high-level panel discussions on "The role of science in international security policies" and "Challenges for science diplomacy in the current geopolitical environment".  

19.11 FMSTAN SPIDER science diplomacy meeting

 Speakers of sessions include: 

Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT); Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA); Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO); Philip Griffiths, Head of Secretariat of Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (WA); Sir Peter Gluckman, Chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), President-elect of the International Science Council; Vaughan Turekian, Executive Director of the Policy and Global Affairs Division of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 5th Science and Technology Adviser to the US Secretary of State, and former Chief International Officer and Director of the Center for Science Diplomacy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); Elena Buglova, Head of Incident and Emergency Center, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Stephan Klement, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna; Aminata Sall Diallo, Project Manager of Alignment of Higher Education in economic needs, Senegal Emerging Plan, Presidency of the Republic of Senegal, and former Special Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Research of Senegal; Jean-Jacques Tortora, Director of the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI); Walid Zidan, Administrative Director of the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME); and Olga Memedovic, Deputy Director, Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

IIASA Director General and CEO Albert van Jaarsveld and Director General for International Cultural Relations at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Teresa Indjein addressed the audience with keynote speeches on "IIASA as a trust-builder between nations" and "Science Diplomacy reloaded. The aesthetics and dynamics of a new element in Austrian Foreign Policy", respectively. 

Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, New York, Jeffrey Sachs delivered a lecture on "Science, diplomacy, and the SDGs".

During the meeting several panel discussions were organized, including "The role of science in international security policies", "Challenges for science diplomacy in the current geopolitical environment", "Tech Diplomacy", "The role of science in diplomatic curricula - and the role of diplomacy in scientific curricula", "Future challenges for science diplomacy", and "The role of international research infrastructures in science diplomacy".

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Last edited: 12 December 2019


Sergey Sizov

Science Diplomacy Officer Communications and External Relations Department


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313