CSTD convenes 23rd session virtually

The UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held its 23rd session through a virtual informal meeting between 10-12 June 2020. The meeting addressed two priority topics: (a) harnessing rapid technological change for inclusive and sustainable development, and (b) exploring space technologies for sustainable development and the benefits of international research collaboration in this context. The CSTD further reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). In this opening speech, UNCTAD Secretary-General Mr Mukhisa Kituyi proposed ‘two points of action for improving global cooperation for scientific advancement drawn from our recent experiences with the current global health emergency. First, we need to ensure that the international science, technology and innovation (STI) cooperation and solidarity we have witnessed in response to the pandemic remains beyond this period and is formalized. Secondly, funding and resource mobilisation for STI should not become a victim of budget cuts in the looming economic downturn’. During the meeting, a new three-way partnership between the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO), and the CSTD was announced. Through this partnership the Chinese government will provide an agriculture data monitoring system and tool, CropWatch, to help developing countries tackle COVID-19 impacts and food insecurity.