United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

European Union

First annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) 6 - 7 June 2016, United Nations, New York
Intervention by EU on 6 June 2016 (draft)
Distinguished Delegates,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
Allow me to start off by congratulating the ECOSOC President and you, the co-chairs, for organizing the first Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science Technology and Innovation for the SDGs in the context of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism created last year by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and 2030 Agenda.
The EU and its Member States welcome this Forum, which should help harnessing the full potential of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
STI are key tools for moving the world onto a sustainable path. STI solutions are at the same time a prerequisite and crucial drivers for the implementation of the vision expressed with the SDGs. They can help eradicating poverty, ending hunger and malnutrition, promote sustainable economic growth, generate new quality employment opportunities, increase prosperity, optimise complex systems and value chains, promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, reduce our vulnerability to disasters and other shocks, and promote the protection of the environment and ecosystems services as well as the efficient use of scarce resources.
However, workable technological and non-technological solution which optimise impact in terms of environmental, economic and social sustainability are not always available. It is therefore important that all countries foster the creation of new knowledge and innovative solutions as well as of appropriate skills in order to create an appropriate enabling environment and a more operational science-to-policy interface. STI is often developed in multi-stakeholder processes and partnerships between government institutions, civil society, academia and the private sector. Increasing international cooperation and coordination in research aimed at implementing the SDGs is a valuable way to accelerate progress by adopting co-design, co-creation or co-adaptation approaches in view of the 2030 Agenda. Voluntary existing
cooperation schemes should be used and fostered, as intensively as possible, such as the Belmont Forum, the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), and joint initiatives such as Mission Innovation, as well as the implementation process of the COP 21/Paris agreement with respect to STI.
All countries should be encouraged to increase bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation on STI and on solution-oriented but open-ended research in areas of particular relevance to the SDG’s, such as sustainable agriculture, food security and sustainable water management. In order to facilitate development of and access to environmentally sound technologies, North-South cooperation, South-South and triangular cooperation should all be promoted, in particular for LDCs.
In line with the “universality” of the SDGs, the European Union (EU) has already committed to moving towards a sustainable way of living where people are “living well within the limits of our planet”, on the one hand.
On the other hand, the EU and its Member States are very engaged in research and innovation. They support intensively research projects for sustainable development in Europe and globally through research programmes, such as the European Union's programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 has a budget of 74.8 billion euros over a period of seven years (2014-2020). In 2014, 46% of the total research expenditure of the Horizon 2020 programme was focusing on sustainable development issues and this share can be expected to grow towards 60% over the coming years. Global challenges, common interests and priorities as well as mutual benefits are key aspects and drivers of our global commitment to co-creation of solutions, as well as the intention of creating an open knowledge sharing platform for sustainable development processes. The EU Horizon 2020 programme is "Open to the World" and offers possibilities for research and innovation through international cooperation.
All partners in international cooperation should reinforce capacity development and promote scientific and technical cooperation, while engaging all stakeholders. STI policies should be enhanced and aligned with the 2030 Agenda by (i) reorienting mind-sets and behaviours towards SDGs; (ii) strengthening partnerships and enhancing engagement amongst countries and engaging all stakeholders (especially the private sector) for developing tailor-made international STI initiatives; (iii) “walking the talk”, addressing causes of implementation gaps, ensuring domestic integration of the SDGs in/with STI, improving policy coherence, building up opportunities to benefit from the “data revolution”, and setting up monitoring, evaluation and assessments of STI for the SDGs.
The EU and its Member States remain committed to improving and mainstreaming support for capacity development in all areas of the global partnership, and in particular in research through inclusive processes and a multi-stakeholder approach. Development of capacity in partner countries is a key factor for improving development effectiveness and efficiency. We are ready to step up our support for capacity building in research, including in the field of statistics and monitoring in partner countries.
The STI Forum needs to act as a platform for coordination, monitoring progress, identifying the best practices, knowledge and information sharing and a framework for implementing further actions aiming at transforming our world and realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this regard it’s also important that the outcome of this first STI Forum adequately feeds into the High Level Political Forum in July.
Once more Excellencies and distinguished delegates, let me reiterate how the EU and its Member States look with great interest at the discussion and outcome of this Form.
Thank you.