STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR GERARDO PEñALVER PORTAL, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UN, AT THE MINISTERIAL SESSION OF THE MULTI-STAKEHOLDER FORUM ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (New York, 3 May 2023)
H.E. Mr. Thomas Woodroffe, United Kingdom Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Excellencies and colleagues,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The Group wishes to express its highest appreciation to the President of ECOSOC, and the two co-Chairs for convening this very important Forum, which provides an open platform to explore ways to harness science, technology and innovation for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Science, technology and innovation, including information and communication technologies, have become central to addressing global challenges and are one of the driving mechanisms of the transformation to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
The international community should strengthen solidarity and cooperation, speed up efforts to harness scientific and technological achievements to accelerate sustainable development, and unleash new impetus for innovation-driven growth.
A governance system based on science, technology and innovation is essential to identify problems and find effective solutions aimed at sustainable economic development, environmental conservation, poverty reduction and inequality.
The major challenges facing developing countries today in this area are conditioned, inter alia, by the unjust prevailing international economic order and the current international financial architecture; the dramatic and simultaneous increase in extreme poverty and wealth; the growing weight of external debt; the fragility of health and education systems; unilateral coercive measures; the multiple crises, including the economic and financial crisis; the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; conflicts; food and energy insecurity; market volatility; inflation; the tightening of monetary policies; the digital divide; and the persistent adverse effects of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, with no clear roadmap so far to correct the systemic deficiencies of the global economy.
It is therefore pertinent to continue to address this issue in international debates and to continuously and strongly advocate for the interests of the G77 and China to be positioned and for the claims and aspirations of developing countries to be taken into account. At the same time, all possible mechanisms and initiatives should be explored to promote resilience and complementarity among the countries of the South in the field of scientific and technological production and innovation as an engine for sustainable development.
Enhancing capacity building in science, technology and innovation is fundamental for the progress of the developing countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, there is an urgent need for allocation of financing for the fulfillment of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism's (TFM) mandate.
The Group recalls, however, that limitations in the capacity and speed of fixed-broadband connections in the developing countries will affect the quality and functionality of this development tool and widen the already existing inequalities.
Furthermore, the Group reaffirms that international development cooperation, especially North-South cooperation, remains a fundamental catalyst to sustainable economic growth. We urge developed countries to fulfill their unmet Official Development Assistance commitments and emphasize the need to increase ODA for scientific, technological and innovative capacities.
We further stress that technology transfer is one of the core priorities of the developing countries in implementing 2030 Agenda. Therefore, we reiterate the need to accelerate the transfer of technology on favorable terms including on concessional and preferential terms.
It is key to strengthen strategic partnerships between countries of the North and the South so as to contribute to the sharing of knowledge, innovation and transfer of technology.
I take this opportunity to advance that Cuba, in its capacity as Chair of the Group of 77 and China, is considering to convene a Summit of Heads of State and Government under the theme "Current Development Challenges: Role of Science, Technology and Innovation". The event would take place in September, in Havana.
In view of the growing technological marginalization of developing countries, science, technology and innovation are a priority to be embraced by members of the Group, due to their great impact on development and the effective response of current challenges.
We look forward to discuss in the context of this Forum the role of science, technology and innovation as accelerators to deliver the SDGs. Allow me to conclude by wishing this Forum all success and expressing the Group's commitment to engage constructively in areas related to science, technology, and innovation.