Ministerial Interactive Dialogue Calls On Strengthening South-South Cooperation in Science and Technology

Dubai, Executive Secretariat of the Group of 77 - 27 October 2002 - Pursuing its substantive session, the High-level Conference on Science and Technology held this afternoon a Ministerial interactive dialogue on the strategy developing countries should adopt to boost a more dynamic and efficient South-South cooperation in knowledge and technology.

A significant number of Ministers and high-officials took part in the debate including following countries: Angola, Cuba, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

The Chairman of the World Summit on the Information Society, Mr. Adama Samassekou made a presentation as well as the representatives of United Nations agencies and the scientific community.

While recognizing with concern the growing scientific and technological gap between the developed and developing countries, the representatives of Member States and international organizations regretted that two years after the adoption of the Havana Programme of Action, little progress has been achieved in improving the dire situation of science and technology in the developing countries. They expressed the need to devise innovative and renewed cooperation mechanisms in the fields of science and technology, in the framework of the decisions and recommendations of the Havana Summit.

Delegates stated that the existing knowledge capacities and centers of excellence in the South should be used in a more efficient and systematic fashion. The establishment of regional centers should be encouraged, as the one established by the Islamic Republic of Iran on Urban Water Management, which covers about 20 countries of the Group of 77.

Several delegations stressed the importance of strengthening the coordination between the Group of 77 Chapters in science and technology. Also, the Group of 77 should promote a more substantive debate at the level of the General Assembly on science and technology, and work actively for the speedy establishment of the Trust Fund as several member States raised concerns on the issue of lack of funding for science and technology in their countries.

Tomorrow, 28 October, the High-level Conference will hold two workshops. In the morning session, scientists will focus on information and communication technology (ICT) while the afternoon will be dedicated to Biotechnology.

The Dubai Conference is expected to close its substantive session on Wednesday, 30 October, with the adoption of a Charter on Science and technology and a Declaration of Scientists for Peace and Development.


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