The first annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) opened on Monday at UN Headquarters in New York, convened by the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The session began with a video introducing the SDGs, and noting that their success will depend on merging the worlds of science, technology and innovation (STI) with the needs of communities and peoples.
In opening statements, Oh Joon, ECOSOC President, called the first STI Forum officially to order, observing that of the SDGs’ 169 targets, about 50 explicitly refer to technology or are related to major technology issues. He said the TFM is foreseen as a key instrument of the AAAA, 2030 Agenda, and Paris Agreement.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said innovation, science and technology must not be limited to Goal 17, as they cut across all 17 SDGs as an important element of implementation. Science and technology are important as means to an end, he noted, and said the Forum must link STI with progress in sustainable development at the ground level.
During the day, representatives of UN Member States and Major Groups and Other Stakeholders heard presentations from panelists and engaged in an interactive dialogue on four topics:
- The Power of Science, Technology and Innovation
- Enabling Environment for Science, Technology and Innovation
- Realizing the Potential of Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs
- Transformative Technologies for SDGs
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web updates and a summary report from the 1st annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum). Our summary report is available in HTML and PDF.
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Amb. Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC
STI Forum Co-Chair Amb. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations
STI Forum Co-Chair Dr. Vaughan Turekian, Science and Technology Adviser to the US Secretary of State
Session 1: The Power of Science, Technology and Innovation
Dean Kamen, President, DEKA Research and Development, Founder FIRST,
and STI Forum Co-Chair Dr. Vaughan Turekian, Science and Technology Adviser to the US Secretary of State
Komal Ahmad, Founder and CEO of COPIA
Dick Co, Managing Director, Solar Fuels Institute, Research Associate Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University
Session 2: Enabling Environment for Science, Technology and Innovation
Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Indian Research and Information System for Developing Countries
Gillian Marcelle, Executive Director, University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park
Pamela McCauley, Professor, Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, University of Central Florida
Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Executive Director, IIASA
Ernesto Fernández Polcuch, UNESCO
Louise Kantrow, International Chamber of Commerce
Session 3: Realizing the potential of science, technology and innovation for the SDGs
William Colgalzier, Co-Chair, 10-member group of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism
Nicola Bettio, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
Solomon Assefa, Director, IBM Research Africa
Panel Moderator Xiaolan Fu, Director, Technology and Management Centre for Development, Oxford University
Session 4: Transformative Technologies for SDGs
Cynthia Breazeal, Founder and Director, MIT Media Lab’s Personal Robots Group
Arjoon Suddhoo, Executive Director, Mauritius Research Council
Carlos Morel, Director, Brazilian National Institute of Science and Technology for Innovation in Neglected Diseases
Panel Moderator Nick Perkins, Director, SciDev.net