Speakers and delegates alike drew out the reasons why it is crucial to consider and concretise the connections between science and human rights. The conference showcased local and regional expertise and engagement alongside issues and questions arising at international institutions and across the world, such as the promotion of open science and people-centred science to ensure the right to science; the need for establishing interfaces between science, politics and society to promote science-based decision making and responsible citizenship; the importance of mainstreaming the One Health approach; the questions arising from the relationship between access and use of scientific knowledge, corporate interests and public policies. In this way, it put the local in the global and the global in the local.
The conference was opened by the Minister of Defense Jorge Taiana and the Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Filmus. According to Taiana, "the combination of science and a human rights perspective is essential if we want a world that is a little fairer, less unequal and that wherever we are born [...] human beings have the opportunity to develop, live in freedom and aspire to fulfil their lives". Taiana added that if science does not have a human rights perspective toward climate change, we will undoubtedly have a much more limited response.
Jorge Taiana, Argentinian Minister for Defense
Daniel Filmus, Argentinian Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation
Filmus reminded the audience that the Argentine military dictatorship destroyed CONICET (National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina) and eliminated any possibility of free thinking in the development of science. A moving reflection connected to the dictatorship period was offered by geneticist Victor Penchaszadeh (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero): he was among the creators of the first "grandparenthood index" (allowing the identification of missing children) and advisor to the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo in the operation of the National DNA Data Bank. Finally, the Rector of the Universidad Nacional de San Martín Carlos Greco concluded that "when a government decides to develop knowledge, it does so because, in addition to generating individual benefits, it generates social benefits and guarantees rights”.
The conference also signalled the start of work on a Spanish language version of the MOOC on science and human rights jointly developed and delivered in late 2022 by UNESCO and the GC, featuring, among an impressive lineup of experts, Right Livelihood Laureate David Suzuki.
Thérèse Murphy, GC & European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies and Verónica Gómez, GC & UNSAM, present the GC MOOC on Science and Human Rights .
The Human Rights Week also included two additional events: the launch of the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, presented at the Auditorio Belgrano of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship on 3 March with an impressive panel of experts; and a special visit to the UNSAM Technical High School where GC representatives, including the GC child rights team from the 7 GC hubs, conducted several activities with the students facilitated by Andrea Flores Ruilova (GC Latin America). Students brainstormed in small groups and came up with a list of issues they experience in their everyday life and concerns for the present and the future.
Panel Science for rights: Frans Viljoen (GC Africa & Advisory Committee OHCHR), Verónica Gómez (GC President & UNSAM), Javier Palummo (Advisory Committee OHCHR), Victor Penchaszadeh (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero)
Over 150 people joined the various events organised by GC Latin America in the first week of March. A special thank you to our distinguished speakers from multiple branches of the Argentinian government, universities and research agencies, international NGOs, UN agencies, the GC network and the Right Livelihood College.
Enjoy the photos of the activity conducted together with the UNSAM Technical High School, of the conference and the presentation of the UN Global Study.
Amador Sánchez Rico, EU Delegation in Argentina
Verónica Gómez, Global Campus of Human Rights & UNSAM
Panel Intersectional Approaches in Access to Science:Silvia Bernatené (UNSAM), Victor Karunan (Right Livelihood College), Liliana Tojo (consultant). Video message of Yesenia Olaya (Ministry of Science, Colombia)
Panel Public Policies and Private Interest in Access to Scientific Knowledge: Héctor Mazzei (UNSAM), Luis Wall (Universidad de Quilmes), Ana Maria Llois (UNSAM), Sergio Romero (CONICET)
UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty: Ariel Cejas Meliare (Procurador Penitenciario Adjunto), Manu Krishan (GC), Gloria Bonatto (Directora Nacional para Adolescentes Infrantores de la Ley Penal), Mary Beloff (CRC), Marisa Graham (Defensora de los Derechos de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes de la Argentina), Esteban de la Torre (Instituto Interamericano del Niño, la Niña y Adolescentes), Juan Miguel Petit (Comisionado Parlamentario Penitenciario, Uruguay), Manfred Nowak (GC)
Activity with the students of the Technical High School UNSAM