Distinguished Secretariat colleagues,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to this briefing on the preparations for the “5th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs”, together with the co-chairs Ambassador Pobee and Ambassador Danon.
As you know the STI Forum 2020 will be held 12-13 May here at UN Headquarters, focusing on the theme of:
“Using science, technology and innovation for accelerating action and transformative pathways”.
The two-day Forum seeks to develop and strengthen networks- and collaboration- across all stakeholders working to apply STI to accelerate progress for the SDGs.
I am confident we will build on the success of previous years and further advance science, technology and innovation for the SDGs at this year’s 2020 STI Forum.
Regarding the unpredictable situation related to the COVID-19 virus, we must acknowledge that it could have consequences for the STI Forum – and other ECOSOC Forums and segments this year.
The Secretary-General, the PGA, and I will convene a separate briefing on this on Tuesday 10 March at 10am, to provide further updates and respond to questions from Member States.
For now, we must continue with our planning and preparations for the STI Forum, while also monitoring the situation closely.
Therefore, I would encourage Member States to continue to plan for the participation of high-level experts and policy makers from your capitals. And for the inclusion of young scientists and innovators – especially women - in national delegations.
The Co-Chairs and I will explore any feasible alternate means of participation, if necessary.
And any updates in this regard will be communicated in due course.
We will continue to work with all parties involved to make the Forum and its follow-up a success.
And in this respect I would like to thank UN DESA, UNCTAD, and the “UN Inter-agency Task Team on STI for the SDGs”, for their able and effective support in the preparations of the STI Forum.
Similarly, I am grateful for the strong commitment, and active engagement, of the 10-Member Group of high-level representatives of: civil society, the private sector and the scientific community.
I have no doubt that going forward, the Group’s expertise and capacity to mobilize stakeholder participation will be crucial.
And dear colleagues, I look forward to your continued support and engagement from all of you in this year’s STI Forum.