WFEO 50th Anniversary celebrations at UNESCO
5 March 2018

“Advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through Engineering”

WFEO UNESCO Joint Declaration Paris March 2018 – Call for Action


The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) is the main body for engineering globally, representing nearly 100 nations and some 30 million engineers.

The members of WFEO are the national and regional professional engineering institutions of the world. WFEO is a member of the United Nations Scientific and Technological Community (UN STC) Major Group and has an official Associate status with UNESCO.

UNESCO, as the United Nations agency for education, science and culture, supports engineering through its Natural Sciences Sector, and acknowledges engineering as a powerful means to achieve sustainable development, capacity-building in engineering education and gender equality in developing countries, as well as the safeguarding of world heritage

Considering that:

  1. 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.
  2. Engineers and engineering are critical for achieving the SDGs. Engineers have a key role in supporting the growth and development of essential infrastructures such as: roads, railways, bridges, dams, waste management, water supply and sanitation, energy and digital networks. They are responsible for developing and implementing technologies and systems that contribute towards achieving the SDGs as they relate to water, energy, environment, sustainable cities, natural disaster resilience and other areas, which will benefit people and the planet for greater prosperity and better quality of life.
  3. WFEO is committed to playing a key role in leading and coordinating projects to achieve the SDGs through engineering. WFEO can bring together its members, educational institutions, 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 national and regional members of WFEO, that are leading professional engineering institutions, will develop country and region-specific responses.
  4. The celebration of WFEO’s 50th anniversary in 2018 is a catalyst to develop a framework for an action plan for the engineering capacity that is required to achieve the SDGs. The Symposium held today, on 7th March 2018, is the first stage in bringing together the WFEO members and partners to develop the WFEO Engineering 2030 Plan.

Accordingly, we declare:

  1. WFEO, a recognized member of the UN STC Major Group and UNESCO, through its Natural Sciences Sector, will work together and in cooperation with other UN organizations, including UNEP, UNFCCC and UNISDR towards achieving the SDGs through engineering.
  2. WFEO and UNESCO are committed to the following principles for action through engineering to achieve the SDGs:
  • Increase the numbers and quality of engineering graduates that meet the needs of sustainable development with rapidly changing technologies, in collaboration with educators, government and industry;
  • Inform global standards for engineering education, support the development of a range of engineering education systems to comply with agreed standards and facilitate the mobility of engineers;
  • Support capacity-building through strong institutions for engineering education and the development of accreditation bodies for the recognition of professional credentials;
  • Establish policy frameworks and best practices, notably through WFEO Standing Technical Committees, as digital technologies, data sciences and artificial intelligence have ethical and social implications.

Signed by:

Dr. Marlene Kanga AM

President World Federation of Engineering Organisations

Dr. Flavia Schlgel

Assistant Director General, Natural Sciences Division, UNESCO

Engineers Australia

600 Bourke Street,
Level 31, Melbourne 3000

Ph: +61 3 9321 1790
E: [email protected]