United NationsDepartamento de Asuntos Económicos y Sociales Desarrollo Sostenible

Session 5: Emerging science and technology trends, challenges and the SDGs

Wed 05 May 2021, 10.15 am
Virtual Event (NYC time)


(Interprefy) (UN webcast

This session will explore the latest developments in science and technology and their current and potential future impacts on sustainable development and the SDGs. As mandated by the GA, the session will include updated elements of “TFM findings on the impacts of rapid technology change on the SDGs”, bringing together views of experts from the UN system, 10-Member Group, scientist and engineers active in the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM). The session will explore technology convergence and the multiple technology divides, including gender digital divide, and other challenges associated with these trends related to clusters such as blockchain, biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies. 



Special Presentation:

  • Mr. Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and UN Chief Economist [to present on “TFM findings on the impacts of rapid technology change”] [Presentation]


  • Mr.  Peter Major, Chair, UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development [Statement]
  • Ms. Wilhelmina Quaye, Director, CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute, Ghana
  • Mr. Hiroshi Matsumoto, President, Rikagaku Kenkyūjo (RIKEN), Japan [Statement]

Interactive discussion (all stakeholders) 

  • Mr. Pedro Quezada, Director General de la Optic, Dominican Republic 
  • H.E. Ms. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, Undersecretary for Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology, Philippines [Statement]
  • Mr. Preetam Maloor, Senior Strategy and Policy Advisor, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • H.E. Ms. Zahra Ershadi, Deputy Permanent Representative, Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Ms. Tiina Vihma-Purovaara, Senior Ministerial Advisor, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Finland [Statement]
  • Ms. Elenita C. Dano, ETC Group (Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration) [Statement]

Other inputs (no intervention): 

  • Bulgarian Academy of Science [Statement]
  • Global Young Academy [Statement]
  • Smart Cheli [Statement]
  • University of Cambridge, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and Global Young Academy [Statement]

Webcast Video:


IATT work stream 10: Analytical work on emerging technologies and the SDGs - click here