World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development will be celebrated on 4th March every year as a UNESCO international day of celebration of engineers and engineering.
The 40th General Conference of UNESCO has adopted the resolution to proclaim 4th March of every year a World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development in November 2019.
The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) proposed 4th March as World Engineering Day, the founding day of the Federation, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Federation in 2018. This is an opportunity to celebrate the important contributions of engineers and engineering to sustainable development and modern life.
World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development will be celebrated annually from 2020 onwards. Organizations and offices of the United Nations system, and most importantly, governments, civil society, the public and private sectors, schools, universities, and more generally, citizens, are expected to make the international day a springboard for awareness-raising actions.
WFEO received some 80 letters of support from peak international and national institutions, academies and national commissions to UNESCO, representing 23 million engineers around the world.
This resolution was backed by member states of UNESCO with support from more than 40 nations including Namibia, China, Tanzania, Mozambique, Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Uruguay, Senegal, Liberia, Nigeria, Turkey, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mali, Iraq, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Russian Federation, Poland, Kenya, Iran, Nicaragua, Oman, Bangladesh, France, Comoros Islands, Liberia, Jordan, Philippines, and UK. “Engineers aren’t very good at articulating the value of engineering and the impact that engineers and engineering have on society. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk about these aspects and engage the community in the work of engineers”, said Dr. Marlene Kanga, the Past President of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, who led the proposal for the Day.
An international day with coordinated celebrations across the world is an opportunity to increase the profile of engineering. The Day is also an opportunity to engage with government and industry to address the need for engineering capacity and the quality of engineers around the world and develop strategic frameworks and best practices for the implementation of engineering solutions for sustainable development.
The celebration of World Engineering Day is also about promoting engineering as a career and how it is an opportunity to change the world for better. There is a great deal to be done specially to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals in developing countries to ensure that everyone has access to clean water, sanitation, reliable energy, and other basic human needs. In all countries, there is also a great deal to be done – to deal with the impacts of climate change, environmental issues, our growing cities and the challenges of new technologies including artificial intelligence. There are many opportunities and the Day can be used to engage with young people and say “If you want to change the world for the better, become an engineer.”
All engineering institutions, universities, and businesses are invited to celebrate World Engineering day. WED communication kit can be used freely for your events and can be downloaded by clicking on this link.
The Impetus for the Proposal for World Engineering Day
In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted its Resolution 70/1 announcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which take an integrated approach to future development, combining progress in economic prosperity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.
Engineers and engineering are critical for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
a. Engineers and engineering projects are essential for a peaceful world as it is engineers who will develop and implement technologies and systems that will progress the UN Sustainable Development Goals as they relate to water, energy, environment, sustainable cities, natural disaster resilience, and other areas. This is essential for inclusion and to address unequal access to these technologies which results in income inequalities.
b. Engineers are essential for resilience to climate change and to design and develop resilient infrastructure that will withstand the increasing weather-related events – floods, cyclones, and bush fires especially in developing countries that are most exposed to these risks.
c. Engineers are essential for sustainable economic development as they are needed to support the growth and development of essential infrastructures such as roads, railways bridges, dams, waste management, water supply and sanitation, energy and digital networks in both developed and developing countries.
d. Engineers are needed to develop inclusive technologies and innovations that will benefit people and the planet for greater prosperity and better quality of life and leave no one behind, especially to ensure equal access to technology for women and in rural areas.
World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development is an opportunity to discuss these issues and engage the wider community in the contributions of engineers and engineering and the work that needs to be done to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda so that no one is left behind.
Proclamation of a World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference
The UNESCO General Conference has adopted, for the records of the General Conference, the resolution:
Proclaims 4 March of every year World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development
Documents of the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development
- Agenda of the 40th Session of the General Conference
- Organization of the work of the session
- The UNESCO General Conference 40C/64 Item 5.21 of the Provisional Agenda– PROCLAMATION OF A WORLD ENGINEERING DAY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: العربية/中文/English/Français/Русский/Español
- The UNESCO General Conference 40C/92 – REPORT OF THE SC COMMISSION MAJOR PROGRAMME II – NATURAL SCIENCES AND THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL OCEANOGRAPHIC COMMISSION (IOC)： العربية/中文/English/Français/Русский/Español
The World Engineering Day Logo
- The 17 colours of the UN Sustainable Development Goals are included in the logo and represent the commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda. The colours at the centre of the image are for the Sustainable Development Goals for Water, Energy, Sustainable Infrastructure and Innovation. These are the main areas where engineers are needed most. The goal for Engineering Education is also central as the world needs more engineers with the right engineering skills for sustainable development.
- The image of the world is incorporated in the logo to show that this is a global day for everyone.
- The gears of the logo show that engineers are driving the world forward and that engineering is essential for sustainable development.