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AuthorUnited Nations Conference on Trade and Development
TitleCommission on Science and Technology for Development at its Fifth Session (28 May-1 June 2001)
Imprint Geneva, United Nations. 2001
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At its fifth session, the Commission on Science and Technology for Development considered five substantive items, including the examination of a report on the main theme for the session, National capacity-building in biotechnology. Other substantive agenda items covered the implementation of and progress on decisions made at the fourth session of the Commission, international and country reports on technology and innovation policies, the budget of the Commission and activities of the Commission regarding the coordination of science and technology for development. After consideration of the substantive agenda items, the Commission adopted three resolutions, which addressed the major issues addressed at the fifth session and recommended them for adoption by the Economic and Social Council.In the first resolution, entitled Science and technology for development, it was decided that the substantive theme and focus of the Commission's work during the intersessional period 2001-2003 would be Technology development and capacity-building for competitiveness in a digital society. The work of the Commission would be carried out in a multidisciplinary manner, taking into account the scientific, technological, economic, commercial, ethical, social, educational and commercial aspects of the theme. The resolution also recommended that actions be taken to ensure that previous findings of the Commission on information and communication technology are brought to the attention of groups and current initiatives that aim to bridge the digital divide. It was further recommended that the Commission on Science and Technology for Development assist the Economic and Social Council in the implementation of the outcomes of the latter's review of activities of its subsidiary bodies dealing with information and communication technology.Regarding national capacity-building in biotechnology, the same resolution recommended that, inter alia, Governments formulate and implement integrated, consistent policy regimes that support the development of biotechnology through coordination of their national sectoral policies, establishing an appropriate institutional vehicle for the coordination of biotechnology-related activities, supporting centres of excellence and networks of key institutions, leveraging public funding and encouraging private sector funding for building scientific capabilities and related infrastructures. The resolution also invited the international community to coordinate its efforts to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to engage in capacity-building, particularly in respect of formulating frameworks for legal and regulatory regimes relevant to biotechnology, conducting national capacity needs assessments and facilitating information exchange, partnerships and networking. It further requested that the secretariat of the Commission coordinate and liaise with other international organizations working in biotechnology, disseminate information related to biotechnology through its newly-created electronic network and develop and contribute to programmes aimed at training scientists, diplomats and journalists in science diplomacy. The resolution requested the Commission to assist and encourage national authorities to coordinate their strategies for science and technology, widen access to information and new technologies on affordable terms and encourage partnerships, including through international cooperation.The Economic and Social Council would also recommend, under the same resolution, that the secretariat of the Commission continue its efforts to use the newly established science and technology network as a gateway for the dissemination of up-to-date information on activities related to science and technology for development, with a particular focus on information of special importance to developing countries. The Commission also recommended the adoption by the Economic and Social Council of a second resolution, in which the Council would approve the establishment of a special trust fund for activities in the area of science and technology for development, with a view to assisting the implementation of current and future mandates directed at the United Nations Conference on Trade and development in the area of science and technology for development. The draft resolution invited contributions to that trust fund and also recommended that those resources currently available in the Trust Fund for Special Activities in Science and Technology for Development be transferred to the newly created trust fund.The Commission recommended a third resolution for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, which proposed that in future the Commission would meet annually and requested that an open-ended working group be set up to study and analyse the role of the Commission in the recommendation and policy-making process of the United Nations system on science and technology issues. It further recommended that the working group investigate the feasibility of establishing an international mechanism to support research and development in developing countries, particularly in the fields of health, education and agriculture

International Institute for Trade and Developement : UNCTAD CollectionE/2001/31 & E/CN.16/2001/9CHECK SHELVES

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