"Science and technology have crucial roles to play in promoting progress and peace from climate change to public health; from food security to sanitation; from disarmament to disaster preparedness," media reported citing Ban in his message for the International Week of Science and Peace.

"Ours is the first generation with the knowledge and the tools to end extreme poverty. Ours is the generation that must and can, with the technologies already at our disposal forge a path towards a sustainable future," he said.

The International Week seeks to generate greater awareness of the relationship of science and peace among the general public, and encourage academic discussions on the issue.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution 25 years ago, which proclaims the International Week of Science and Peace to take place each year during the week in which November 11 falls.

"One key challenge is to promote 'pro-poor' research that addresses the needs of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people, such as small-scale farmers," Ban said. "Other imperatives include closing the digital divide in access to information technology and expanding education to better train young people for jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math."

The UN chief said the international community also has the responsibility to protect all mankind against the destructive uses of scientific achievement and capacity, most notably by working for a nuclear-weapon-free world and to contain the spread of other weapons of mass destruction.


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