PARIS, March 30 (KUNA) -- UNESCO announced on Monday it was striving to enhance international scientific cooperation in the context of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which has infected more than 740,000 people worldwide and killed at least 35,000.
The UN body said in a statement that it hosted today an online meeting of representatives of 122 countries, including 77 Ministers, and EU Commission officials and officials of the African Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
"The objective of the meeting was to exchange views on the role of international cooperation in science and increased investment in the context of COVID-19," the statement indicated.
The talks focused on "open science" which UNESCO has been encouraging for some time.
The Paris-based body, which has science, culture and education as its brief, said that "it called on governments to reinforce scientific cooperation and integrate open science in their research programmes to prevent and mitigate global crises.
"The COVID-19 pandemic raises our awareness of the importance of science, both in research and international cooperation. The present crisis also demonstrates the urgency of stepping up information sharing through open science. The time has come for us to commit all together," UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay stated.
The international scientific community has been mobilised because of the COVID-19 crisis for several weeks and has boosted information sharing and research results and extensive reform of their working methods, the statement noted.
Specifically on the virus, there have been exchanges by major scientific journals, which have been made accessible to all, permitting rapid progress on DNA research in the context of coronavirus. (end)