Statement delivered by H.E Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations on behalf of the Least Developed Countries at the Second Annual Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (New York 15 May 2017)
Thank you, Mr. Chair
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of LDCs. The Group aligns itself with the statement made by Ecuador on behalf of the G77 and China.
Science, Technology, and Innovation have proven to be catalysts for fostering economic growth, strengthening productivity and competition and widening knowledge base. Hence, I would like to thank the President of ECOSOC as well as the two Co-chairs for convening this Second Forum which would give us the opportunity to consider the technology gaps existing across the globe today and discuss the way forward.
This is an age of unprecedented advancement in STI. However, the comprehensive appraisal of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action, undertaken last year at the Mid-term Review, suggests that LDCs still face considerable challenges in enjoying the benefits that STI can offer. A wider consensus emerged that both the LDCs and their development partners would have to bolster their efforts to promote STI as an integral part of the implementation of both the 2030 Agenda as well as the IPOA.
The 2030 Agenda aptly recognizes that the STI has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies. Availability of technology can help the weaker and vulnerable countries build resilience against their numerable vulnerabilities. The implementation of many goals and targets are deeply contingent upon leveraging modern and clean technologies. STI can support the LDCs in their fights against climate change, disasters, outbreaks of endemic diseases and so forth. I should also mention that technology can contribute significantly to poverty eradication, good governance, financial inclusion and building infrastructure. A stronger commitment and political will of the international community is of utmost importance to support the LDCs in utilizing STI to realize the 2030 Agenda and the Istanbul Programme of Action.
In this regard, we would like to recall with appreciation our collective efforts for the adoption of the Charter of the Technology Bank for the LDCs last December which paved the way for its operationalization. The Group is looking forward to similar efforts made by all for its full operationalization.
With a view to promote and utilize STI in LDCs, we would recommend the following five specific measures:
First: It is necessary to enhance vertical coordination between policies and strategies adopted by countries to ensure more public investment in Research and Development and regional and global/multilateral policies and agendas. It would ensure availability, affordability and accessibility to technologies. The policies need to be coupled with modern infrastructure and service delivery systems.
Second: LDCs need appropriate technologies and relevant know-how to adapt and commercialize them taking into account the local needs and circumstances. Operationalization of the Technology Bank for LDCs would foster the transfer of appropriate technologies and know-how to LDCs.
Third: LDCs also need adequate financial support to harness STI. While public-private partnership is a tested means to fund STI in our countries, support from the development partners would contribute a great deal in this regard.
Fourth: In the framework of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation, the partnership in the field of STI should be fostered among the South. There should be more concrete initiatives among the countries in the South to exchange their innovations, experiences, lessons learnt and best practices.
Fifth and the final point is that the Development partners have made concrete commitment in the IPoA to continue providing places and scholarships for students and trainees from least developed countries, in particular in the fields of science, technology, business management and economics. This commitment is resonated in target 4.b of the 2030 Agenda. This needs to be implemented and followed-up.
I thank you all for your kind attention.