The signing of agreements on establishing two category 2 science centres in mathematics and physics in Vietnam, which are recognized and sponsored by UNESCO, is considered a new progress of Vietnam’s science in confirming and increasing its position, assisting Vietnam’s science sector to more deeply integrate into the regional and international scientific communities.
On August 24, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh on behalf of the Government of Vietnam and Ms Irina Bokova, Director- General of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) signed an agreement to establish two category 2 science centres in mathematics and physics in Vietnam, which are recognized and sponsored by UNESCO.
Attending the signing ceremony were representatives of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of Government, the UNESCO Office in Hanoi, the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO and other relevant agencies.
Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova sign the agreement
For the first time, Vietnam has category 2 science centres recognized and sponsored by UNESCO
Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh addresses the signing ceremony
The signing of the agreement helps Vietnam strengthen its cooperation not only with ASEAN and Asian countries, but also with other developed and developing countries through the UNESCO network, heightening the position of Vietnam’s science in the region and in the world, contributing to the development of regional and international basic science. In particular, the establishment of these two category 2 centres suits the Government’s strategy in science and technology development in the 2011-2020 period in terms of setting up basic and applied research organizations which meet regional and world standard.
Centres with the objective of developing and supporting the development of basic science for countries in the region, and looking towards Asia Pacific and African countries; contributing to UNESCO programs through activities such as scientific research, education and training, and other activities at national and regional levels.
The centre will participate in international research projects; in collaboration with International Basic Sciences Program (IBSP), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) of UNESCO and other scientific organizations; organizing scientific events and transferring knowledge through short-term activities, including classes, seminars, conferences, seminars in accordance with UNESCO's programs.
Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh said that this is the first time Vietnam has category 2 science centres recognized and sponsored by UNESCO, and became one of the four ASEAN countries that have category-2 science centres in the field of the natural sciences recognized and sponsored by UNESCO.
Since the 1970s and 1980s, Vietnamese mathematicians and physicists have been involved in training and research programs at UNESCO International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). Since then, the mathematics and physics staff of Vietnam has grown and matured, the position of mathematics and physics of Vietnam is recognized by the region and the world.
Vietnam wants to show its responsibility for the development of basic science
“With the establishment of two international centres for mathematics and physics, Vietnam wants to show its responsibility for the development of basic science in accordance with the objectives set by UNESCO, and support countries in the region and other developing countries in these two areas. Vietnamese scientists will work closely with scientists around the world to contribute to basic science,” said Minister Chu Ngoc Anh.
According to Ms. Irina Bokova, the establishment of two category-2 science centres in mathematics and physics in Vietnam is not only important for Vietnam itself but also for UNESCO. This centre is for postgraduate training for physics and mathematics. With UNESCO, it is meant to contribute to the implementation of the basic science curriculum as well as the training in theoretical physics.
Ms. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General
“We appreciate Vietnam's investment in education and innovation. We consider this a very important driving force in inclusive sustainable development, contributing to solving the world's challenges such as climate change. These are the Government's efforts in the past time,” Ms. Irina Bokova said.
According to experts, in the context of international integration, Vietnam's participation in the network of category-e science centres recognized and sponsored by UNESCO is an international recognition for the intellectual of Vietnam, besides the recognition of Vietnam’s natural and cultural heritages. It also confirms and heightens the position of Vietnam’s science, helping Vietnam’s science to integrate deeply with the region and the world.
On the Vietnamese side, the Government pledges its strongest support for the activities of these two centres, creating the necessary institutional, financial and human resources conditions for the two centres to operate effectively, actively participate in UNESCO international basic science program, and achieve the general objectives of UNESCO.
The category-2 centre is a type of specialized institute in the fields of education, science, culture and information of UNESCO member countries that are recognized and sponsored by UNESCO for its vision and mission of regional and international research and training which is suitable for UNESCO policies and strategies, contributing to realizing its objectives and development programs, and promoting international cooperation in specialization between member countries.
So far, UNESCO has recognized and sponsored 98 category-2 science centres, including 49 centres in the field of natural sciences. In 2015, 17 category-2 centres on natural sciences were adopted, including two in mathematics and physics in Vietnam.
In the ASEAN region, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have science centres recognized and sponsored by UNESCO.
Since 2014, the Ministry of Science and Technology worked with the National Commission of UNESCO Vietnam, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology to study and review the science and technology potentials, including science and technology organizations, bilateral and multilateral international cooperation, and the capacity of scientific research staff. They agreed to choose mathematics and physics as strengths of Vietnam before proposing the establishment of the two science recognized and sponsored by UNESCO on the basis of the Institute of Mathematics and the Institute of Physics of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.
Overview of the signing ceremony
On November 11, 2015, at the 38th session of the General Assembly of UNESCO in Paris (France), Vietnam was elected to the UNESCO Executive Council for the period 2015-2019. During this session, the UNESCO General Council approved the proposal of Vietnam to establish two category-2 centres in mathematics and physics.
Participants of the signing ceremony
Translated by Tuyet Nhung
Link to Vietnamese version