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UN and CERN celebrate science for peace and development and CERN’s 60th anniversary

New York, 20 October 2014. The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)1 celebrated science for peace and development highlighting the values of science and its ability to build bridges between nations. The event was the last in a series of celebrations organized by CERN to mark its 60th Anniversary.

“Whether we are trying to address climate change, stop the Ebola virus, deal with cybersecurity threats, or curb nuclear proliferation, we need scientists with a clear vision and a commitment to work together to find solutions," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “As we pursue these hugely important efforts, we can be inspired by the work done by CERN. The world faces multiple crises. But this is also an era of opportunity, where great achievements are possible thanks to science, technology and innovation.” 

“Science has the potential to significantly impact all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental,” said Mr Martin Sajdik, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). “The international community must consciously and deliberately work to ensure that advances in science and technology have positive effects towards that end”.

“CERN is delighted to celebrate its 60th anniversary at and with the United Nations,” said CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer. “With this event we wish to promote a more effective dialogue between science and international affairs, and to openly exchange views on how science can be more integrated into global and national decision-making processes for the benefit of all.”

Under the chairmanship of the President of ECOSOC, the event included a series of keynote addresses from eminent scientists and world leaders, including keynote addresses by Nobel Physics Prize Laureate Professor Carlo Rubbia and Kofi Annan, Chairman and Founder of the Kofi Annan Foundation and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who underlined the role that science has played in peaceful collaboration, innovation and development.

“We must strengthen dialogue and collaboration between the world of science and the world of politics and diplomacy,” said Mr. Annan. “It is crucial that we harness the wealth of scientific information available, make sure that it reaches policymakers, and is integrated in decision-making processes”.

The UN strongly supports science and its role in society, and in 2012 CERN was granted observer status to the UN General Assembly.



ECOSOC is the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. ECOSOC engages a wide variety of stakeholders – policymakers, parliamentarians, academics, major groups, foundations, business sector representatives and over 3,200 registered non-governmental organizations – in a productive dialogue on sustainable development through a programmatic cycle of meetings. The work of the Council is guided by an issue-based approach, with an annual theme that accompanies each programme cycle, ensuring a sustained and focused discussion among multiple stakeholders.


About CERN:

Founded in 1954, CERN was established after the Second World War to give Europe an institution for basic research on particle physics that would promote scientific excellence and peaceful collaboration. CERN has become a prime example of international collaboration, with 21 Member States as of January 2014, and involves today over 10.000 scientists from about 100 different nationalities. CERN operates the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. The CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. Its flagship research facility, the Large Hadron Collider, is housed in a 27-kilometre tunnel under the plain between Lake Geneva and the Jura mountains.


For more information, including a full list of speakers and programme, visit: http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/CERN60/index.shtml#


Media contacts:

- Arnaud Marsollier, CERN, Tel: +41 22 767 41 01; E-mail: Arnaud.Marsollier@cern.ch

- Paul Simon, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Tel: +1 917 367 5027, E-mail: simonp@un.org

- Wynne Boelt, UN Department of Public Information, Tel: +1 212 963 8264, E-mail: boelt@un.org


1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a Candidate for Accession. Serbia is an Associate Member in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer Status.