Paris, France – Andrey Guryev, member of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO and CEO of PhosAgro, one of the world’s leading producers of phosphate-based fertilizers, took part in the official opening ceremony of the International Year of the Periodic Table held today at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, which took place with PhosAgro’s support.
The UN proclaimed 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table, which was developed by the great Russian scientist Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev 150 years ago. The initiative to hold the International Year of the Periodic Table was launched by the Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and by scientists from Russia and all around the world. PhosAgro, one of UNESCO’s long-standing partners in the fields of science and sustainable development, was chosen by the UN as the official sponsor of the initiative.
As part of UNESCO’s International Year of the Periodic Table, a large number of events are planned all around the world — scientific conferences, thematic exhibitions, competitions for young scientists and educational initiatives — the goal of which are to strengthen international cooperation in science, technology and innovation, as well as to interest young people in studying the natural sciences.
The official Opening Ceremony to launch International Year of the Periodic Table took place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and was attended by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, Russia’s Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotjukov, President of France’s Académie des Sciences, Pierre Corvol and PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev. As part of the opening, a conference was held where some of the world’s leading scientists and young representatives of the future of science shared their vision for the development of the natural sciences and technology in the modern age.
UNESCO Director-General Azoulay said: “Science is a public good and as such, must benefit all humanity. This conviction is the driving force behind UNESCO’s mandate. Science is a vehicle for progress, provided that its benefits are distributed fairly and that its applications are governed by ethical principles.”
In his speech, PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev noted: “We are proud and grateful for the fact that the UN chose PhosAgro to be a partner of the International Year of the Periodic Table. For me and my colleagues at PhosAgro, this is a great honour and recognition of our solid long-term partnership with UNESCO in the field of science and education.
“Eight years ago, during the International Year of Chemistry, it was in this very room that the historic decision was taken to launch the Green Chemistry for Life global programme, which has been life-changing for dozens of young scientists from all around the world. This project was the first joint step on the path of long-term cooperation between PhosAgro and UNESCO, a path that now includes not only science but also our concern for the environment and the fight against hunger, two integral parts of the UN’s sustainable development goals. At the foundation of this system are discoveries made by Dmitri Mendeleev 150 years ago.
“As one of the leading companies in the global fertilizer industry, PhosAgro is delighted to be involved in the continuation and development of the tremendous scientific heritage of this great Russian scientist in an effort to solve global problems, primarily to ensure food security in Russia and in the world. PhosAgro’s efficient and pure fertilizers are in high demand in 100 countries throughout the world.
“Our work doesn't end once our fertilizers have been sold; we share our knowledge and experience with consumers to ensure that our fertilizers are used in the most efficient way possible. We are responsible for the quality, safety and environmental friendliness of our products, which is why we devote significant resources to innovation and scientific developments.
“PhosAgro is also home to one of the world's leading specialised research institutes for fertilizers and agrochemicals and the only institution of its kind in Russia, which de facto created the mineral fertilizer industry in our country and is now developing innovations that are enabling Russian fertilizer producers to successfully compete in every corner of the world. In addition, we also cooperate with the Russian Academy of Sciences and leading scientific institutions, and we invest at least 5% of our revenue into research and development.
“We are also confident that the events that will take place to mark Mendeleev's discovery during the International Year of the Periodic Table will be extremely beneficial for the further development of technologies in the fields of green chemistry, sustainable development and food security. And, of course, we expect this year to introduce us to many new names and discoveries that will benefit humanity.”