United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

H.E. Mr. Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC

Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum)
6 June 2016, 11:00 a.m.
Conference Room 1, UN Headquarter, New York

Opening and Introductory remarks by
H.E. Ambassador. Oh Joon
President of ECOSOC

H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft , President of the General Assembly,
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to the very first Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs. At the outset, I want to extend a warm welcome to our co-chairs, who have so ably guided the preparations for this Forum: H.E. Mr. Macharia Kamau and Dr. Vaughan Turekian.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Technology has greatly shaped our society and is a central mean for advancing all of the SDGs. This is illustrated by the goals and targets themselves. Among 169 SDG targets, about 50 targets either explicitly refer to technology or relate to major technology issues.

Technology policies are needed to benefit humanity, through ensuring that more people move out of poverty in all countries. Technology cooperation has the power to bridge divides across national borders and across social groups. This is why we launched Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) and STI Forum.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last year, world leaders came together and decided to take joint action to leverage technology for better and sustainable life for all. The establishment of the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) is of historic significance. It is foreseen as a key instrument for the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda as well as Paris Agreement.

STI forum is one component of this new instrument. It is intended as a space for constructive collaboration among Member States, entrepreneurs, scientists, creators and innovators across the world, to discuss science, technology and innovation cooperation for the implementation of the SDGs.

The objectives of this Forum are to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including with regard to scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity building, and also to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the SDGs.

This is a vast agenda. I would like to underline some of the objectives that the Forum could address this year and in the future.

First, the Forum can help us identify practical means and solutions to foster science, technology and innovation in all countries. In doing this, it is important that the Forum considers various sources of knowledge, including indigenous knowledge.

Second, the Forum provides an opportunity to strengthen the dialogue between stakeholders and promote the sharing of ideas, and success stories on STI for the SDGs, as well as to suggest new initiatives and partnerships.

Third, the Forum can facilitate exchanges on STI solutions.

For this to work, the Forum has to be really interactive. It has to secure the participation of experts, technology users, policy-makers, all relevant stakeholder groups as well as change agents. In particular, the youth, who represent the next generation of scientists and innovators, should be involved

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In closing, I would like to draw your attention to the role of the Forum in the broader picture of the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

Our discussions here during these two days will be summarized by the Co-chairs of the Forum, and this summary will feed into the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which will be held in New York from 11 to 20 July.

By doing so, the Forum will provide guidance to policy-makers on how to enhance the contribution of science, technology and innovation to the realization of the SDGs.

Once again, I welcome all of you and look forward to fruitful results from our discussions today and tomorrow.

Thank you. //END//