Mobilizing science, technology and innovation and strengthening the science-policy-society interface
Friday, 9 July 2021
11:15 AM - 1:15 PM
Virtually (held New York time)

Official meeting

One of the key functions entrusted to the HLPF by Rio+20 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to strengthen the science-policy interface, including through the Global Sustainable Development Report and the Technology Facilitation Mechanism. Progress in science, technology, and innovation (STI) continues to accelerate, promising significant benefits but also risks to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as they impact the economy, society and environment.

Despite the potential for STI in helping to realise the 2030 Agenda, challenges abound. Alignment between STI and SDGs remains weak. STI can reproduce and even amplify social and economic inequalities due to challenges in access and design.

Governments, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, need to accelerate efforts to close the digital divide and support the digital inclusion of disadvantaged and marginalized groups and communities, by addressing the various factors behind the divide including, access to ICT infrastructure, affordability of the Internet and ICT device, digital and literacy skills, and awareness / relevance of online content.

Advances in STI should be harnessed to enhance equal opportunities and access to basic services, so that no one is left behind. Governments and the international community have a central role to play in providing directionality to innovation activities to ensure that STI is driven by considerations of inclusiveness and sustainability.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked innovations and new forms of collaboration. STI is playing an important role in understanding, responding to, and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has been a wake-up call for a better science-policy-society interface, for more effective international technology cooperation, and for building public trust in science related to all areas of sustainable development.

The purpose of the session is to further advance progress on the implementation of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and other related UN processes. It will build on the outcome of the 6th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (4-5 May 2021) and consider the recommendations contained in the co-chairs’ Summary of the Forum.

The session will discuss the main challenges and opportunities for mobilizing science, technology, and innovation and strengthening the science-policy-society interface. Specific attention will be given to exploring the existing mechanisms and potential innovations in developing and deploying STI for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing emerging challenges and bridging the digital divide. Views, suggestions, and current achievements are expected to be shared by practitioners, policymakers, and experts based on their most recent experiences and research.

Proposed guiding questions:
  • What are the most promising technology solutions, innovations, and transformative technology pathways towards achieving the SDGs?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities faced in developing and deploying STI for emerging challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How can governments and other stakeholders work together to address the various causes of the digital divide (access, affordability, skills, relevance)?
  • How can we mobilize science, technology, and innovation to improve the lives of those furthest behind and reduce inequalities, without perpetuating the digital divide, especially during rapid technological change?
  • How can we strengthen international cooperation on science, technology, and innovation to better deal with sustainability challenges?

The President of the Economic and Social Council has transmitted to HLPF, the Co-Chairs’ summary of the STI Forum. The Co-Chairs of the Forum will begin the session by presenting this Summary. The session will follow by panel presentations and then followed by interactive discussion with the participants.

Chair:
  • H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya (Ukraine), Vice President of ECOSOC
Keynote addresses:
  • H.E. Mr. Mohammad Koba, Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum, Ambassador and Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations
  • Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Interactive panel discussion

Moderator:
  • H.E. Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs, Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations,
Panellists/Resource persons:
  • Ms. Cherry Murray, Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s 10 Member Group to Support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, Professor of Physics and Deputy Director for Research, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona
  • Ms. Imme Scholz, Co-Chair of the International Group of Scientists of the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE) and Honorary Professor of the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg,
  • Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, Chief Web Advocate, World Wide Web Foundation, Nigeria
Lead discussants:
  • Ms. Sanja Nikolin, member of UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group for Europe and Central Asia
  • Ms. Elenita Dano, Asia Director of ETC Group (Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration), Philippines (Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism and Science & Technology Major Group)
Respondents:
  • H.E. Ms. Karen Abudinen, Minister of Information and Communication Technologies of Colombia
  • H.E. Mrs. Ariunzaya Ayush, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Mongolia
  • H.E. Mr. Andrii Vitrenko, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine for European Integration, Ukraine
  • Mr. Ahmed El – Magarmid, Executive Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar
  • Ms. Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Biographies
H.E. Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs
Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs

Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations

Andrejs Pildegovičs took up the position of Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York in September 2018. Before his current position, from May 2013 to August 2018 he served as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and before that as Under Secretary of State, Political Director. From 2007 to 2012 he served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to the United States of America and non-resident Ambassador to the United Mexican States. From 2000 to 2006, Andrejs Pildegovičs was Advisor on Foreign Affairs to the President of Latvia and from 2006 to 2007, Chief of Staff at the President’s Chancery.

Ambassador Pildegovičs has graduated from the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the Saint Petersburg State University in 1994, and from 1990 to 1991 studied Chinese at the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute. He later studied at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Foreign Service Programme at Oxford University. He speaks Latvian, English, Russian, and Chinese.

H.E. Mr. Andrii Vitrenko
Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine for European Integration, Ukraine
H.E. Mr. Andrii Vitrenko

Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine for European Integration, Ukraine

Born on May 23, 1977
2017-2020 - Deputy Dean for Research and International Collaboration, Faculty of Economics – Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
July 16 - December 23, 2020 - Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
From December 24, 2020 - Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine for European Integration

International experience, visiting scholarships and trainings:


  • Visiting Professor – D. Serikbayev East Kazakhstan state technical university (Kazakhstan), 2013.

  • Advanced Training in the area of innovative methods and approaches in education, Certificate # 63-01/16, Slovakia, 2016.

  • Research activity in the area of service economy and IPR commercialization (Erasmus + program) – Kirklarelli University, Turkey, 2017.

  • Research activity in the area of Economics (Erasmus + program) – Bath Spa University, UK, 2018.

  • Developer and Trainer of the Training on updating skills of academic and administrative staff in the area of knowledge transfer and commercialization of university research in ECOIMPACT project by Erasmus+, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2018

  • Expert from Ukraine in the program “COSME” - the EU program for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises


H.E. Mr. Mohammad Koba
Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum, Ambassador and Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Koba

Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum, Ambassador and Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations

Mohammad K. Koba was appointed the position of Deputy Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations in New York on January 2019. He then took upon the role of Charge d’Affaires in February 2021. Prior to his current posting, he was the Director of the General Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Indonesia. He also served as the First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the UN, Geneva between 2008-2012. Ambassador Koba holds a Master’s degree in European Integration and Development from Vrije Universiteit in Brussels and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Universitas Airlangga. He is married with two children.

H.E. Mrs. Ariunzaya Ayush
Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Mongolia
H.E. Mrs. Ariunzaya Ayush

Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Mongolia

H.E. Mrs. Ariuzaya Ayush is Minister for Labour and Social Protection of Mongolia. She holds M.A degree in Political Science, sociology and history, University of Hannover, Germany, and M.A degree in Business Administration, National University of Economics, Mongolia. Before joining the Government as Minister for Labour and Social Protection in 2020, she was Chairperson of National Statistics Office of Mongolia. She was also Co-Chair of the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Chair of the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21), President of ANCSDAAP in 2018-2020. She is married and mother of 3 children.

H.E. Ms. Karen Abudinen
Minister of Information and Communication Technologies of Colombia
H.E. Ms. Karen Abudinen

Minister of Information and Communication Technologies of Colombia

She is a lawyer from the Universidad del Norte. Her professional career began at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, where she confirmed her decision to articulate efforts to boost the population of her country and she decided to go beyond words and move on to action.

After this experience, for almost 9 years abroad, Karen Abudinen returned to her country, convinced that the word "impossible" has no place on her agenda. She began working in Barranquilla with the Nu3 Foundation, impacting thousands of children and families.

In 2013 she was appointed as Secretary of Social Management of the Mayor's Office of Barranquilla and in 2014, she worked as Director of Early Childhood of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF).
In 2016, she assumed the position of Secretary of Education in the Mayor's Office of Barranquilla. In 2017, she was appointed as the National Director of the ICBF, where she worked 24/7 for the welfare, care and protection of children, adolescents and the Colombian family, in general. In 2018, she was appointed by President Iván Duque as Presidential Advisor for the Regions, where she led the Building Country Workshops, managing to guarantee the presence of the State in all corners of Colombian territory through coordinated work with the country's governors and mayors.

Currently, she is the Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, a position in which she is in charge of designing, adopting and promoting policies, plans, programs and projects in the sector, as well as increasing and facilitating access to technologies for all the inhabitants of the national territory.

Mr. Ahmed El – Magarmid
Executive Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar
Mr. Ahmed El – Magarmid

Executive Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar

Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid is the founding Executive Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI); an Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University (US); and a former chief scientist at Hewlett-Packard HQ in Palo Alto, CA. He serves on the boards of the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), MEEZA, a leading national/regional cloud provider, the Board of Qatar Personalized Medicine Institute and the Qatar Genome Program, Qatar National Library executive committee, joint advisory board for Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar, and Sidra Medicine. He serves on the Arab League ministerial level committee for AI, and co-chairs the Qatar national AI committee. He is an accomplished and well-published scientist, authoring six books and more than 180 papers, and has directed several well-funded research programs. Dr. Elmagarmid has also been granted eight patents in the database field from USPTO and the EU patent office and developed several software systems that have since become startups. In 2019, Dr. Elmagarmid received the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award. In 2020, he was chosen to serve on the Washington Institute’s Council of Advisors and selected to be distinguished fellow.Dr. Elmagarmid is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator (PYI) Award from President Reagan and is an IEEE, ACM, and AAAS Fellow. The University of Dayton and The Ohio State University have both named him among their distinguished alumni. Dr. Elmagarmid received his B.S. in computer science from the University of Dayton (1977) and his M.S. (1981) and Ph.D. (1985) from The Ohio State University.

Mr. Houlin Zhao
Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Mr. Houlin Zhao

Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Houlin Zhao was first elected 19th Secretary-General of the ITU at the Busan Plenipotentiary Conference in October 2014. He took up his post on 1 January, 2015. ITU Member States re-elected Houlin Zhao as ITU Secretary-General on 1 November 2018. He began his second four-year term on 1 January 2019. Prior to his election, he served two terms of office as ITU Deputy Secretary-General (2007-2014), as well as two terms as elected Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (1999-2006). Houlin Zhao is committed to further streamlining ITU's efficiency, to strengthening its membership base through greater involvement of the academic community and of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and to broadening multistakeholder participation in ITU's work.

Ms. Cherry Murray
Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s 10 Member Group to Support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, Professor of Physics and Deputy Director for Research, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona
Ms. Cherry Murray

Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s 10 Member Group to Support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, Professor of Physics and Deputy Director for Research, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona

Cherry Murray, Professor of Physics at the University of Arizona, is Deputy Director of Research at Biosphere2 focusing on environment, water, food, energy, and sustainable development. She obtained B.S. and Ph.D., degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests evolved from experimental condensed matter and surface physics to nanotechnology, innovation, R&D of telecommunications networks, to science, technology, national security and energy policy, science diplomacy and global sustainable development. From 1978 to 2004, Murray held a number of research and executive positions at Bell Laboratories, eventually becoming Senior Vice President for Physical Sciences and Wireless Research. She then served at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as Deputy Director and Principal Associate Director for Science and Technology from 2004 to 2009. She was dean of Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences from 2009 until 2014. Murray served as the Director of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, from 2015 until 2017, overseeing $6 billion in competitive scientific research as well as the management of 10 national laboratories. She then became Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy and Professor of Physics at Harvard until her retirement in 2019. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-chair of the InterAcademy Partnership, Murray has received the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation as well as the American Physical Society Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award and George E. Pake Prize.

Ms. Elenita Daño
Asia Director of ETC Group (Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration), Philippines (Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism and Science & Technology Major Group)
Ms. Elenita Daño

Asia Director of ETC Group (Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration), Philippines (Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism and Science & Technology Major Group)

Elenita “Neth” Daño is Asia Director and Coordinator of the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group) based in southern Philippines. ETC Group is an international civil society organization that monitors the impacts of new and emerging technologies on marginalized communities, tracks corporate concentration and governance in food and agriculture, and investigates erosion of biodiversity.

Neth earned her bachelor’s degree in Development Studies and graduate degree in Community Development from the University of the Philippines. She has represented environmental non-governmental organizations in the Advisory Board to the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) of the UNFCCC, and in global environmental governance discussions at UN Environment. She was appointed for a two-year term (2016-2017) by the UN Secretary-General in the 10-Member Group that supports the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism.

Ms. Imme Scholz
Professor and Deputy Director, German Development Institute
Ms. Imme Scholz

Professor and Deputy Director, German Development Institute

Imme Scholz is Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE) and Honorary Professor of the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. Imme studied sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin. She joined DIE as a researcher in 1992 and worked on trade regulations for environmental requirements to products and production processes. With her PhD she tried to understand the limited effect of certification schemes for sustainable forestry on the sustainability of the timber trade in the Brazilian Amazon region. From 1999-2002 she was an environmental policy advisor in the Amazon region of Brazil on behalf of German development cooperation, as part of a large pilot programme for the protection of Brazilian rainforests. On her return to DIE she took over the newly founded environmental department where she created a research group on adaptation to climate change. In 2009 she was appointed as deputy director of the Institute. Imme is very active at the science-policy interface, within the T20, the European Think Tanks Group and in policy dialogues with China on sustainable development. She is deputy chair of the German Sustainability Council, a member of the Steering Committee of SDSN Germany and of the German Committee Future Earth (DKN Future Earth).

Ms. Ismahane Elouafi
Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Ms. Ismahane Elouafi

Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Dr. Ismahane Elouafi is currently the Chief Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and is a member of FAO’s core leadership team. From 2012 until her appointment with FAO in November 2020, Dr. Elouafi was Director General at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Elouafi had previously held senior scientific and leadership positions, including Senior Advisor to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Branch in Ottawa, Canada (2006-2007), and Manager then Director of Research Management and Partnerships Division at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (2007-2012). She also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations, including the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Dr. Elouafi has been a member of various strategy expert panels and advisory groups, including the Global Commission on Adaptation and HarvestPlus.

She sat on several Board of Directors, including the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI, 2015-2020), the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI, 2019-2020), and the CGIAR System Management Board (2020). She is also a member of the Scientific Group for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. Dr. Elouafi holds an M.Sc. in Genetics and Plant Breeding (1995) from the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, Morocco, and a Ph.D. in Genetics (2001) from the University of Cordoba, Spain.

Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma
Chief Web Advocate, World Wide Web Foundation, Nigeria
Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma

Chief Web Advocate, World Wide Web Foundation, Nigeria

"Nnenna from the internet" is a recognized voice for systemic policy changes for development through open technology. She is a champion for meaningful internet access, open data, open government, and the open web, bringing together local and international stakeholders to advance the digital cooperation agenda. Passionate about affordable internet access, data rights, digital freedom, and digital responsibilities of stakeholders, she is acknowledged as one of the "World's Most 100 Influential People in Digital Government" and one of "Africa's 50th Digital Personalities".

Nnenna is a respected technology voice and leader in Africa. Her capacity to network and bridge the gap between the local and the global has made her a voice bearer for women, rural populations, the unconnected, and the civil society across the world. She is an ICT4D Strategist, an expert in eParticipation and Citizen Engagement, one of the early pioneers of the Africa Data Revolution, a respected voice in the UN’s Internet Governance Forum, a pioneer and continued advisor on internet governance in Africa, and Faculty at the Schools of Internet Governance. She has over 15 years of experience working with the instances of the United Nations Systems in human rights, information society, gender, data, digital equality, and sustainable development.

Ms. Sanja Nikolin
member of UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group for Europe and Central Asia
Ms. Sanja Nikolin

member of UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group for Europe and Central Asia

Sanja Nikolin is s gender and policy expert. She serves as Member of Civil Society Advisory Group with UN Women Europe and Central Asia. She is a founding member of the Future of Equality ‘She Talks ,’a regional initiative seeking to increase visibility of feminists and human rights defenders in the Western Balkans and Turkey and a micro entrepreneur. She initiated Gender Data Balkans, a portal that facilitates public gender data transparency, visibility and dissemination.

Ms. Nikolin works on innovation, women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship development, gender responsive budgeting, executive gender coaching and non-discrimination, She is a published researcher with significant experience in gender budget analyses, gender impact evaluation of innovation funding and economic support measures. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Statements
Statements
Statement - H.E. Mrs. Ariunzaya Ayush
Statement - H.E. Ms. Karen Abudinen
United Nations