Open Science aims to make science more accessible, more transparent and thereby more effective – Joint Appeal by UNESCO, WHO and OHCHR

On 27 October 2020, a joint appeal for open science was launched by UNESCO, WHO and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Through this appeal, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Mr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Ms Michelle Bachelet, called on the international community to take all necessary measures to enable universal access to scientific progress and its applications.

The meeting was broadcasted live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and UNweb TV.

“Considering that Open Science can reduce inequalities, help respond to the immediate challenges of COVID-19 and accelerate progress towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we, therefore: call on every Member State to ensure the fundamental right to access scientific research and its applications, with a view to creating a global knowledge commons and closing existing gaps in science, technology and innovation, especially in developing countries and with respect to women,” – says the joint appeal.

Click here to open the full message.

Moreover, the joint appeal calls on Member States, policy-makers, civil society representatives, youth networks and the scientific community to uphold the ideals of Open Science, at all stages of the scientific process, in view of the elaboration of the international Recommendation on Open Science.


At the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, 193 Members States tasked the Organization with the development of an international standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the form of a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science to be adopted by the Member States in 2021.

The Recommendation is expected to define shared values and principles for Open Science, and identify concrete measures on Open Access and Open Data and will be developed through a regionally balanced, multistakeholder, inclusive and transparent consultation process.