The 17th session of the Commission for Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is convened under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva from the 12 to 16 May 2014. UNESCO has been invited to participate at this high-level meeting devoted to the role of science, technology and innovation in the post-2015 development agenda.
The meeting is also discussing the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) outcomes at regional and international levels. It was opened by Andrew Reynolds, Chair of CSTD and Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD. This was followed by a series of addresses by Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of ITU; Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN; Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO. The session concluded with a video address by Amina J. Mohammed, Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on post-2015 Development Planning.
In his address to the Commission, the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO Mr Engida stated: “Our goals are clear – to eradicate poverty, to craft inclusive, knowledge societies, where every woman and man is empowered to create knowledge from information and contribute fully to society. Science, technology and innovation are essential for achieving this vision.”
Mr Engida also stressed the importance of STI for the creation of knowledge, economic growth and for the sustainability of development. As UNESCO’s focus is on capacity building, policy and content development, the Deputy Director-General furthermore highlighted that alone, technology is not enough - it must be married with skills and opportunities for all. “We cannot just invest in science and technology - we need to invest in ecosystems,” he stated.
This UNESCO vision of a holistic and integrated approach of technologies towards inclusive Knowledge Societies has been built on UNESCO’s initial contribution to the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes.