UN General Assembly urged to strengthen worldwide capacities in science, technology, and innovation

September 13, 2005

In an unprecendented statement to the UN General Assembly, the leadership of international scientific, engineering, and medical organizations urged the Heads of State and Government meeting in New York in September 2005 to strengthen worldwide capacities in science, technology, and innovation. Stronger capacities in science and technology are required to allow humanity to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals, the statement concludes. In September 2000, 147 heads of State and Government, and 189 nations in total, committed themselves by year 2015 to reduce significantly global poverty and the related problems of illiteracy, hunger, discrimination against women, unsafe drinking water, and degraded environments and ecosystems.

The leaders of the international organizations committed themselves to work with appropriate partners to help strengthen global capacities for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, stating that "sustained progress in reducing poverty and related problems require strengthened institutions for science, technology, and innovation throughout the world, including in each developing nation."

"ICSU is committed to help implement the challenges to the international scientific community in line with its pledges to the World Summit on Sustainable Development", said Professor Thomas Rosswall, Executive Director of ICSU. "Science is essential for sound decision making as well as for technological development and national innovation systems. The MDGs can be met if international science is strengthened for the benefit of society. Science and technology are necessary, but not sufficient, prerequisites for achieving the MDGs".

The signers of the statement are Bruce Alberts and Lu Yongxiang, co-chairs of the InterAcademy Council (IAC); Jane Lubchenco, President of the International Council for Science (ICSU); Yves Quéré and Chen Zhu, co-chairs of the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP); David Challoner and Guy de Thé, co-chairs of the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP); John W. Zillman, president of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS); Lee Yee-Cheong, President of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO); C.N.R. Rao, president of The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS); and Jeffrey Sachs, director of the UN Millennium Project.
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International Council for Science

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