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2023 Social Forum


02 - 03 November 2023


Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

In 2023, the Social Forum will take place on 2 and 3 November in Room XX at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and online. In accordance with resolution 50/22 of the Human Rights Council, it will focus on the contribution of science, technology and innovation to the promotion of human rights, including in the context of post-pandemic recovery.


Science, technology, and innovation play a pivotal role in promoting the enjoyment of human rights across the globe. These interconnected elements empower individuals, communities and peoples by enabling access to education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and other essential human rights. Scientific advancements enhance our understanding of diseases and aid in the development of life-saving treatments, thus promoting the right to health. Technological innovations bridge geographical gaps, ensuring the right to information and communication. Moreover, innovative solutions address environmental challenges, safeguarding the right to clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Epistemic communities play major roles in promoting human rights, by providing humbling lessons about the Cosmos, adding to our understanding about the threats of climate change to world peace and livelihoods, and by inventing assistive technologies that provide opportunities and hope to persons with disabilities. Through these and other means, science, technology, and innovation foster economic growth, create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, and enable the realization of the right to development and other rights. By empowering societies to tackle complex issues, they can contribute to the realization of a just, equitable world for all, where all human rights are enjoyed by everyone.

Science, technology and innovation also pose threats to the enjoyment of human rights, by increasing the destruction possible by means of warfare, and inventing tools that violate privacy and manipulate democratic processes. The opportunities to engage in science and technology follow and reproduce patterns of concentration of power along racial, gender and geographic lines. If the benefits of science, technology and innovation are not equitably distributed, inequalities tend to grow, potentially pushing even more people to face hunger and extreme poverty. The Social Forum will be, hence, an opportunity to discuss ways and means to harness the potential of science, technology and innovation to promote human rights while taming challenges they may pose in this sense.


More information about participation is available on the Social Forum index page. All participants are required to register through the registration page of the event before 30th October 2023. After your registration is approved, you will receive a e-ticket (with QR code) by email. A link for remote participation will also be sent to all registered participants by email ahead of the session. 

Side events

If you wish to organize a side event, please send your proposal in a concept note to [email protected] by 30th September 2023. We will be in touch with you for further details if your proposal is accepted.

Further information