Science Diplomacy in the Middle East
A Bridge to Peace
The Malta Conferences Foundation
A Nonprofit Organization
Acts of war and terrorism have destabilized the political and economic climate in the Middle East and around the world, but it remains possible for scientists from opposing sides of the political and cultural conflict to meet in an attempt to forge relationships that bridge the deep chasms of distrust and intolerance. In 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 conferences were held twice on the Mediterranean island of Malta and once each in Istanbul; Turkey; Amman, Jordan; and UNESCO, Paris, France that brought together scientists from 15 Middle East countries (Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates) to share their scholarship with each other, Nobel Laureates, and other eminent scientists toward the goal of solving some of the scientific problems in the region. These conferences, which use science as a bridge to peace in the Middle East, are called The Malta Conferences.
In the Middle East it is especially important that stable, mutually respectful, personal relationships be created that will enhance research interactions and collaborations, contribute to a more peaceful atmosphere, encourage international development, help establish a more favorable environment for regional peace and security, and foster further growth in regional scientific and technological cooperation. This is the goal of the Malta Conferences which the Foundation has been established to support.
From the outset, the Malta Conferences were endorsed by UNESCO and constituted an incentive to promote a culture of peace within the Organization’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP). The Malta V Conference was one of the official events of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry.
Click here for speech of the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova,
delivered at the
Malta V Conference.
Click here for text of speech that His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal
of Jordan (King Hussain's brother) delivered at the Malta V Conference.