The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has granted its official patronage to the first Global Engineering Congress (GEC 2018), supporting the event in its aim to agree a worldwide response to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
GEC 2018, to be held in London for five days from 23 October 2018, is a joint effort by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). The conference will bring together engineers and policymakers from more than 150 countries to take practical action on climate change, clean water, clean energy, innovation and infrastructure and sustainable cities.
Flavia Schlegel, Unesco Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, described GEC as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together the best engineering minds in the world to create solutions for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
A patronage is Unesco’s highest form of support and is granted to demonstrate endorsement of an exceptional activity.
Further explaining Unesco’s support for GEC, Shlegel said, “Engineers are at the heart of social and economic progress and help improve the world in which we live. Engineering is a major driver for social, economic and environmental development and it underpins our knowledge societies and infrastructures. Thus, we need to ensure that more and more women and young people choose an engineering career.”
Professor Lord Robert Mair, ICE President, welcomed the patronage announcement. He said, "Every person across the globe deserves a safe home, clean water, sanitation, clean air, electricity, and the means to travel. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were created and adopted to try to address these social needs, promoting prosperity in all countries while also protecting the planet. These are the goals that civil engineers should be, and are, working towards. “I am therefore very pleased that Unesco has acknowledged the role that engineers can play in achieving a better life for millions of people around the world, by granting its patronage to the Global Engineering Congress.”
Dr.Marlene Kanga, President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, said: “Unesco and WFEO are working together to advance the goals of sustainable development through engineering and aligns with UNESCOs aim of putting science and technology at the service of people everywhere, to ensure sustainable development for all. “I am therefore delighted that the Global Engineering Congress has achieved patronage from Unesco.“