DUBAI DECLARATION OF SCIENTISTS
OF THE DEVELOPING WORLD
ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR PEACE
AND EVELOPMENT

We, the scientists of the developing countries, having assembled in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for the first High-Level Conference on Science and Technology, organized by the Group of 77, as decided by the historic Havana South Summit, hereby subscribe to the following Declaration on Science and Technology for Peace and Development:

1. We emphasize that more than ever the world has become more interdependent than before. However, the persistence of endemic poverty and deprivation in the South constitutes a potential threat to the security and prosperity of the world. At the same time, we recognize that scientific knowledge and technological developments become key to economic and social development, and therefore, not only influence all aspects of human endeavors but are also crucial conditions for global peace and stability;

2. As the world witnesses a profound and dynamic revolution of knowledge and technology, we recognize this movement as a crucial contribution to the economic growth and the socio-economic development of our countries. We note that the prevailing gap between the North and the South in the scientific and technological field is still growing, and that the process of rapid accumulation of knowledge and technologies has not reached the hundreds of millions of people who continue to live in absolute poverty;

3. We also recognize that information technology constitutes one of the pillars of technological revolution and represents one of the most powerful development tools of our time. We firmly believe that we need to take full advantage to use science and technology for peace and development and to ensure that its benefits reach our peoples, as the future of the South depends on the inclusion of information technology in its economic and social development programmes. In this context, we underline the need to establish global knowledge partnerships that encourage developed countries to provide developing countries with the necessary assistance;

4. We call for the adoption of the appropriate measures to overcome the technological gap between the developing and industrialized countries and to work towards arrangements that facilitate the process of technology transfer. While our countries are committed to promoting the development of science and technology, we urge the developed countries to facilitate the transfer of technology, easing the costs and collateral conditions that presently stand in its way;

5. While we believe it is urgent to enhance our access to global information networks and to improve the benefits derived therefrom, we also emphasize the need to preserve our national and regional diversity of traditions, identities, languages and cultures which may be affected by the globalization process, and to achieve a connection to contemporary international information and knowledge that does not entail sacrificing our national and cultural identities;

6. While recognizing the resource constraints faced by the developing countries and the competing demands from other sectors, we call on the Governments of the Group of 77 to increase funding for education, science and technology. In particular, we call on our Governments to make a commitment to raise the level of funding on Science and technology research and development to at least 2,5% of the Gross National Product (GNP) by the year 2010;

7. We pledge to work to overcome the scourges of underdevelopment, poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease and debt. Although we recognize that this is primarily the responsibility of our own countries, we urge the international community to adopt urgent and resolute actions to assist in overcoming these plagues, and to establish international economic relations based on justice and equity;

8. In this context, we are deeply concerned that international cooperation for development has been downplayed on the agenda of the international community, including the United Nations system. We therefore call the international community to give priority to the development agenda of developing countries and adopt urgent measures to overcome the obstacles to their development objectives;

9. Reiterating that war and violence divert valuable resources from scientific and technological progress, we express our active solidarity with the scientific and research community from the North that expressed its opposition to any unilateral action against any nation, including Iraq, and stress the urgent need to resolve all disputes through dialogue and peaceful means;

10. We remain gravely concerned over the grave deterioration of the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people, which has negatively affected their development and access to education, science and technology. We call for the immediate cessation of all inhumane practices, including collective punishments, hampering the access to basic and high education to the Palestinian people;

11. We reaffirm the right of peoples to exploit their natural resources, including water resources, to serve the economic and social needs of their populations, and reject the use of force or the threat of use of force, in order to prevent peoples from exploiting their natural resources according to the international law and customs;

12. We express our deep concern for the recent political instability in several of our countries, generated by destabilizing forces, and stress that the imposition of pressure, be it internal or external, diverts our resources and energies from the development priorities as well as from knowledge and technology progress. We are firmly convinced that only dialogue among all social sectors and peaceful means can resolve political unrest. In this context, we express our solidarity to the strengthening of the consolidation of peace and democracy in all countries of the Group of 77;

13. We welcome the adoption by our Member States of the Dubai Declaration on South-South Cooperation in Science and Technology, and call on the establishment of the appropriate mechanisms for its implementation and follow-up.

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