From May 8 to 12 of 2017, the 20th Session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) was held in Geneva, Switzerland. At a high-level roundtable focusing on the eradication of poverty in all forms by promoting sustainable development, offering more opportunities and addressing related challenges, Xu Jie, Head of the Chinese Delegation and Deputy Director General of the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST), announced a series of measures of the Chinese government to strengthen cooperation with the UNCSTD. These measures include the following contents.
First, China and the UNCSTD will jointly hold capacity-building workshops of science, technology and innovation (STI). 2 such workshops will be held in 2018 for UNCSTD members in developing counties with a focus on STI policies and management, incubator planning and development. MOST and the UNCSTD will jointly organize the workshops each with a duration of 2 weeks and around 20 trainees. The Chinese government will cover relevant costs.
Second, outstanding young scientists from developing countries in the UNCSTD will be funded for short-term visits to China. In the next 3 years, the Chinese government will, through its Talented Young Scientists Program, provide grants to 60 qualified young scientists and R&D management personnel for their engagement in short-term research projects in China with a duration from 6 months to 1 year.
Third, a junior professional officer (JPO) from China will work at the UNCSTD Secretariat and support the implementation of relevant projects.
Fourth, China and the UNCSTD will jointly hold workshops, forums and other events when appropriate.
The above measures were well received and appreciated by the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) Secretary-General Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, UNECOSOC President Mr. Frederick Makamure Masiiwa Shava and Director Shamika N. Sirimanne, Division on Technology and Logistics (DTL), UNCTAD. The UNCSTD Secretariat soon released the above measures through social media.
On the evening of the opening day, the Chinese government and the UNCSTD jointly held a reception. Taking the opportunity, the Chinese delegation held in-depth exchanges with participants from various countries, as well as officials and experts of the UN agencies, briefed them on China’s STI achievements and practices and explored opportunities for cooperation.
The one-week session features main topics such as to review the outcome document of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), discuss the role of STI in ensuring food safety and other sustainable development goals, deliberate on review reports of national STI policies of Iran and Rwanda, determine priorities of the next session, and organize consultations to adopt resolutions.