Welcome Message

Pursuant to the decision of the Havana Programme of Action adopted by the first-ever Group of 77 South Summit, held in Havana from 10 to 14 April 2000, it is our great pleasure to announce the holding of the first South-South High-Level Conference on Science and Technology of the Group of 77 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 27 to 30 October 2002.

Rapid advances in science and technology, particularly in such areas as microelectronics, biotechnology and information technology, have played a critical role in economic and social development and in wealth creation.

Developing countries, however, lag far behind in knowledge generation and its application to new areas of industry. The disparity between the developed and developing world in their capacity to produce scientific and technical knowledge and to utilise this knowledge in support of social and economic development has emerged as a major challenge facing the international community.

More than ever, science and technology are also likely to exert a major influence on the way the Earth’s resources are utilised and shared among its inhabitants. Scientific knowledge is a major source of power and influence and a key factor in determining the sustainability of our planet and the future prospects of humanity. This challenge implies the need for a strategy to promote international cooperation in the field of science and technology.

A number of barriers have prevented developing countries from seizing opportunities to exploit science and technology, including lack of resources to generate and exploit traditional knowledge, particularly that of indigenous communities; the non-recognition of traditional knowledge in technological development and patenting; lack of infrastructure; the prohibitive costs of acquiring knowledge and technology; the small size of developing economies; and the progressively decreasing importance assigned to science and technology on the international development agenda.

Against this background, the decision of the Group of 77 to convene this important event strengthens our resolve 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 133 member States of the Group of 77.

This practically-oriented event is expected to serve as a platform to articulate strategies in congruence with the political visions of the Group of 77 and to serve as a shining example of South-South cooperation through the participation of Governments, the private sector and academia, all of which will be involved with the many parallel events taking place on this occasion.

To facilitate participation in the Conference, a core technical secretariat under the direction of Mr. Mourad Ahmia, Executive Secretary of the Group of 77, has been established at the Office of the Chairman of the Group of 77 in New York, located at the United Nations Headquarters. The secretariat is in charge of coordinating the substantive and logistical preparations for the Conference, in close collaboration with the Paris Chapter of the Group of 77 and the Municipality of Dubai.

Thank you again for your interest in the South-South High-Level Conference on Science and Technology. We hope that you will find this official conference website informative, and we welcome your feedback.


H.E. Mr. Milos Alcalay
Permanent Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
to the United Nations
Chairman of the Group of 77 for 2002, New York

H.E. Mr. Hussein Ghubash
Permanent Delegate of the United Arab Emirates
Chairman of the Group of 77, Paris Chapter