United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet for UN Secretary-General

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U N I T E D N A T I O N S N A T I O N S U N I E S
DRAFT 1June2018 2.45 p.m.
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
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MESSAGE TO 2018 MULTI-STAKEHOLDER FORUM ON SCIENCE,
TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR THE SDGS
New York, 5 June 2018
Delivered by Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet
Your Excellency, Ms. Marie Chatardova, President of the Economic and Social Council,
Ambassadors Toshiya Hoshino and Juan Sandoval-Mendiolea, Co-Chairs of the Forum,
Excellencies,
Colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to represent the Secretary-General today.
Science, technology and innovation are critical for achieving the Sustainable
Development Goals.
So, too is multi-stakeholder engagement.
I welcome our old friends from governments, major groups, and other stakeholders, who
have worked so hard on developing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
And I welcome the many new faces -- scientists, technologists, innovators, business
leaders and finance professionals.
Everyone has a role to play in realizing our aspirations for a common future of peace,
prosperity, dignity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet.
Everyone has a role in ensuring no one is left behind.
The United Nations Technology Facilitation Mechanism, established as part of the 2030
Agenda, is designed to enable a wide range of stakeholders to engage with each other to
bring the power of science, technology and innovation to bear on the SDGs.
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With this third STI Forum, I am pleased to see so many of you willing to share good
ideas, develop collective knowledge, and launch new collaborative initiatives.
The aspirations of the 2030 Agenda cannot be met through business as usual.
Indeed, a defining feature of the Agenda is its transformative nature, its emphasis on
going beyond silos, and on working together in partnership.
To achieve this transformation, we need to develop, scale-up and disseminate solutions.
Some will be based on existing technologies.
Others will be based on the enormous untapped potential of new and rapidly developing
technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, materials science and robotics.
These rapidly changing new technologies have immense promise.
We need to encourage, nurture and support the participation of young people in these
dialogues.
As the next generation of leaders in their respective fields, they have a strong role to play
in imagining and designing the future.
We must also recognize that new technologies also bring real risks of exacerbating
inequalities.
We must guard against these risks, and ensure that equity and fairness are our guides.
For this, we must work closely together.
The Secretary-General’s strategy on modern technologies for the UN system recognizes
that our engagement must be guided by the need to promote shared global values.
We must foster inclusion and transparency and promote partnerships.
The UN system is committed to further strengthening support to Member States as they
seek meaningful access to knowledge, policies, partners and solutions.
And we will strengthen the UN system’s own capacity to meaningfully engage with these
new technologies.
In this regard, the Technology Facilitation Mechanism has a key role.
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I am pleased that emerging technologies have been regular items of discussion over the
last two years at this STI Forum.
As you prepare to discuss the potential of science, technology and innovation for
achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, let us keep in mind that the SDGs are for
all people.
Let us commit to use all the tools at our disposal to reach the furthest behind first so they
may benefit from today’s rapidly changing world of technology.
I wish you a productive and inspiring Forum.
Thank you.
[END]