First annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum)

The first annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) took place on 6-7 June 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The Forum was mandated by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and addressed the topic "Realizing the potential of science, technology and innovation for all to achieve the sustainable development goals."

More than 600 participants representing 81 governments and more than 350 scientists, technology specialists, entrepreneurs, innovators and civil society representatives attended the forum. Participants interactively discussed how to realize the potential of science, technology and innovation for the SDGs, the experience of youth in using STI for sustainable development and the way forward: adding value through the STI Forum.

The highlights of the forum include the need for the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) to mobilize science, technology and innovation for achieving the SDGs; ensuring that technological advances are inclusive and accessible to all; strengthening STI and human capacity building to create knowledge-based innovative societies  and enhancing STI policy coherence at all levels; creating robust science advisory ecosystems on all levels and striking the right balance between “hard” and “soft” technologies. Further, flexible STI action plans and technology roadmaps at national and international levels are needed.

The Forum is an opportunity to strengthen the dialogue between stakeholders and governments and suggest new initiatives and partnerships to identify and examine technology needs and gaps and to help facilitate the development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies.

Participants recommended that the forum could take inspiration from other mechanisms such as the Internet Governance Forum to become a venue to provide concrete, practical guidance on how to make STI for SDGs a reality, including how to enhance the transfer of sustainable technology to developing countries. The STI Forum could become a platform for the global STI community for effective networking and matchmaking, serve as catalyst for multi-stakeholder partnerships and should be action-oriented and cumulative in its impacts. The Forum should become the outcome of an annual programme of results-oriented activities and a regular moment for collaboratively defining priorities for needed action.

IN the closing session, the Forum’s co-chairs, Macharia Kamau (Kenya) and Vaughan Turekian (US) highlighted the need to bring more people, countries and communities on board to benefit from STI, and the need to ensure STI protects the planet and the climate. Mr Kamau expressed hope that the Forum will feed into the work of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2016.

Find the programme, all presentations and statements here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/TFM/STIForum .

 

About the STI Forum         

As part of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism mandated by the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the annual collaborative Multi-stakeholder Forum on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development Goals (STI Forum) is expected to "provide a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders and multi-stakeholder partnerships in order to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including with regard to scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity-building, and also in order to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the sustainable development goals."