NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, welcomed on Firdau at UN Headquarters UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and members of his United Nation Scientific Advisory Board (UN-SAB), Professor Maria Ivanova (Bulgaria), Professor Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid (Malaysia) and Professor Wole Soboyejo (Nigeria).
Two years after the establishment of 26-member multinational and multidisciplinary Board, the UN Secretary-General (SG) expressed particular
appreciation for the vital recommendations that the UN- SAB provided on the science policy interface and the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) in the context of the elaboration of a post-2015 development agenda.
He invited the UN-SAB to continue advising him through valuable scientific inputs in the upcoming critical phase of the transition from MDGs to SDGs, to which a continued close dialogue between scientists and policy-makers will be key. He thanked the Prime Minister of Malaysia for the successful last meeting of the SAB in May 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, co-chaired by UNESCO Director-General and Professor Tan Sri Zakri.
The UN-SAB Members updated the SG on the current work of the Board crediting him for “making science not only an observer but an advisor” in the post-2015 development process. The meeting followed an earlier high-level roundtable breakfast on the critical role of science, technology and innovation (STI) for the implementation of the future post-2015 sustainable development agenda, organized at the margins of the 2015 high-level segment of ECOSOC hosted by UNESCO Director-General.
“Countries need to commit to significant and adequate investment in STI and Research and Development in order to harness the full potential for STI to provide concrete solutions to the post-2015 development challenges”, emphasized Professor Tan Sri Zakri.
Professor Maria Ivanova summarized the current thinking of the UN-SAB on strengthening the science policy interface in the context of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) calling for increased participation and representation of science in the political process.
Both Irina Bokova and Tan Sri Zakri reiterated that integration of STI in the implementation of SDGs at the country level will be key for the success of the future sustainable development agenda and the transition from MDGs to SDGs. Multistakeholder collaboration, the creation of enabling policy environment and strengthening the national scientific capacities, including through STEM education, were vital factors in this regard.-BERNAMA