G-77 South-South High-level Conference on Science & Technology to take place in the United Arab Emirates from 27 to 30 October 2002

UNITED NATIONS – 27 September 2002 – Senior officials and high-level delegations from the Member States of the Group of 77, guest countries, United Nations institutions, inter-governmental, and non-governmental organizations will gather in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) from 27 to 30 October 2002 for a Conference that aims to strengthen cooperation in the field of science and technology among the nations of the South. The Conference is being sponsored by the Group of 77 in New York in close coordination with the Paris Chapter of the Group of 77, currently chaired by the United Arab Emirates, and also in collaboration with the Municipality of Dubai.

This major Conference comes in the wake of the historic South Summit that brought together the Heads of State and Government from most of the nations of the developing world. The South Summit, which was held in April 2002 in Havana, Cuba, from 10 to 14 April 2000, decided to convene a South-South High-level Conference on Science and Technology with a view to formulating a global strategies and clear policies within the South in order to strengthen South-South cooperation in the field of science and technology. The Dubai Conference will be the first of its kind to take place under the aegis of the Group of 77 and is expected to provide a political vision for a South-South platform for cooperation in the field of information and communication technology, biotechnology; and safe drinking water technology. To make the proceedings of the Conference as interactive as possible, a high-level dialogue at the ministerial level on the challenges and strategies for science and technology in the South will also be organized. Specialized workshops on South-South cooperation on biotechnology, information and communication technology and safe drinking water technology will also take place.

“The Dubai Conference will be an occasion for the South to galvanize its strength and solidarity by lending strong political support to the objectives of South-South cooperation and by identifying specific areas in which operational mechanisms for such cooperation can be strengthened” said Ambassador Milos Alcalay, Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations, Chairman of the Group of 77, on the eve of an official visit to Dubai to meet with the Organizing Committee at Dubai Municipality.

“The Conference will work on creating complimentary framework to the traditional paradigm of North-South economic development. Through the mechanisms created by the Dubai Conference, nations of the developing world will be able to more easily exchange resources, knowledge, and potentialities that will help the South grow more scientifically independent”, he added.

“Over the years, many countries in the South have achieved high levels of socio-economic development. Some have developed or acquired new technologies and new competencies in such areas as information technology, biotechnology and water sanitation and filtration. Some of the developing countries have a record of tremendous success providing the population with plentiful food and water in an environment with almost no arable land and fresh water resources. Sadly, however, these capacities, policy experience and knowledge have often been left out of the development cooperation delivery system” remarked Ambassador Milos Alcalay.

“Against this backdrop, the decision of the Group 77 to convene this important event strengthens the resolve of the South to encourage and harness advances in science and technology to meet the needs of development in developing countries and reaffirms the spirit of South-South cooperation among the 134 member states of the Group of 77. This High-level practically oriented event is expected to serve as a platform to articulate strategies in congruence with the political visions of the South as well as serve as a shining example of South-South cooperation through the participation of governments, the private sector and academia” he added.

“As the international development community is striving to find more effective ways of delivering development in the new Century, for the South, at the advent of the Twenty-first Century, this Conference could serve as an important milestone in the history of South-South cooperation. This Conference will, therefore, help in generating concrete ideas for further strengthening the South-South cooperation in the field of science and technology” he concluded.

The Group of 77 is the largest organization of developing countries in the world. The Group marked its 38th anniversary on June 15, 2002, and has grown significantly in size and influence since its inception; the Republic of Palau being the latest member state to join the family of the G-77 this year. It now comprises of 134 nations including China and represents 4/5ths of the world’s population. The organization is headquartered at the United Nations in New York, and has chapters in various UN Centers including in Geneva, Paris, Rome, Nairobi, Washington, D.C., and Vienna.


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