Project Details International Year of Chemistry - Initial strategy planning

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 April 2007
End Date:
01 August 2008


To develop for IUPAC a plan to secure the designation by UNESCO of anInternational Year of Chemistry.


A number of scientific disciplines have achieved significant benefits through securing designation by UNESCO of an International Year of X. The International Year of Physics was deemed to be a particular success by that community.

IUPAC’s Bureau has indicated that it would like IUPAC to secure designation by UNESCO of an International Year of Chemistry and has asked the Committee on Chemistry Education to take the lead. Information has been gathered about other International Years and exploratory talks have been held with UNESCO officials. Securing designation requires support from UNESCO centrally, the permanent representatives to UNESCO and national commissions.


A meeting of the task group with officials and permanent representativesof UNESCO is being planned for May 2007.

August 07: At its recent Assembly on August 11-12 August 2007, IUPAC Council endorsed the plan to obtain United Nations approval of 2011 as an International Year of Chemistry. The Union invited all Adhering Organizations, Associated Organizations, and other Chemical Societies to assist with a designation that would create a strategic opportunity to communicate the central importance of chemistry in every facet of modern life. [see IYCproject-update20070827 & Update_Letter_to_NAOs_etc_20071003]

May 08:
The Executive Board of UNESCO, in its meeting of April 17, 2008, hasendorsed the proposal for proclamation by the United Nations of 2011as an International Year of Chemistry (IYC).
The wording of the proposal is as follows:
The Executive Board,
1. Recognizing that humankind’s understanding of the material natureof our world is grounded in our knowledge of chemistry,
2. Stressing that education in and about chemistry is critical in addressingchallenges such as global climate change, in providing sustainable sourcesof clean water, food and energy, and in maintaining a wholesome environmentfor the well-being of all people,
3. Considering that the science and application of chemistry producesmedicines, fuels, metals, and virtually all other manufactured products,
4. Taking note of the ongoing United Nations initiatives in industrialbest practices,
5. Aware that the year 2011 provides the opportunity to celebrate thecontributions of women to science on the one hundredth anniversary ofthe awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Maria Sklodowska-Curie,
6. Being further aware that the year 2011 provides the opportunity tohighlight the need for international scientific collaboration on theone hundredth anniversary of the founding of the International Associationof Chemical Societies,
7. Having examined document 179 EX/47 and Add. Rev., [containing supportingletters and statements from numerous National Adhering Organizationsand delegations]
8. Welcomes the unanimous resolution of the International Union of Pureand Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), at its 2007 Council meeting, to declare2011 as the International Year of Chemistry and to play a lead rolein coordinating and promoting chemistry activities at the national andregional levels around the world;
9. Invites the Director-General to support all efforts leading the United Nations General Assembly to declare 2011 the International Year of Chemistry;
10. Recommends that the General Conference adopt, at its 35th session,a resolution on this subject.

The proposal was placed before the UNESCO Executive Board by the Ethiopianrepresentative and supported officially by approximately twenty fiveother countries.
> read more in SG column, CI July-Aug 2008, p. 2

project completed

Follow-up is being continued under project 2008-021-1-020