Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Opening Remarks
Opening Segment
High-level Study Visit to China on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the SDGs

Mr. XU Nanping, Vice Minister of Science and Technology,
Ambassador Marie Chatardová, President of UN Economic and Social Council,
Mr. Jin Xingming, Deputy Secretary-General of Shanghai,
Mr. WANG Ruijun, Chair of the 20th session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,

At the outset, let me express my deep appreciation to the Ministry of Science and Technology and Shanghai Municipal Government for hosting this High-level Study Visit to China on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

My thanks also go to Ambassador Ms. Marie Chatardová, President of UN Economic and Social Council, for attending this meeting, despite her busy schedule.

The topic of this meeting is extremely important, as science, technology and innovation are critical for the implementation of the SDGs.

As you know, in 2015, on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 sustainable development goals – the SDGs.

This is the most ambitious global agenda ever – it urges all countries, developed or developing, to promote prosperity and peace while protecting the planet, through partnerships.

To achieve the SDGs, everyone must do their part: governments, the private sector, and civil society.

Specifically, science, technology and innovation, or STI, are at the heart of the transformative changes needed to achieve our collective vision.

Our meeting here highlights the kind of collaborations that will make this possible.

Let me provide you some background to this meeting.

A major outcome of the Addis Ababa conference and the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 was creation of the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) to support STI cooperation for the SDGs.

Developed and developing countries alike have very high expectations for Technology Facilitation Mechanism.

This meeting seeks to provide a strong impetus to realising the primary objective of the TFM in concrete ways.

Strengthening the capacity of key stakeholders in developing countries to access, adopt and scale up technologies for the SDGs is an essential outcome of such cooperation.

My Department is executing a dedicated project, supported by the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund, financed by China, that seeks to do just this.

Our meeting here marks the inception of activities under this project.

One of these activities is to improve how suppliers and users of technologies in key SDG areas find and connect to each other through online mechanisms.

Making these connections, however, is often not enough to bring about real change: they must also be supported by the relevant offline conditions, such as an enabling policy environment, access to finance, appropriate incentives and innovation capacities.

This meeting brings together experts from across the world to help us understand how to strengthen both the online and offline components, as well as how they support each other.

Initiatives such as the Global Innovation Exchange, or the UN’s Climate Technology Centre and Network, or the Green Technology Bank of our Chinese host, are just a few examples represented here – forgive me for not having the time to mention more.

At this meeting, we are joined by representatives from different countries, different disciplines who will share their insights on what makes these ventures successful and sustainable.

Excellencies and colleagues,

We look forward to these exchanges that will deepen our understanding of these matters.

We also look forward to the two days’ study visit that will include demonstrations of creativity accelerators such as sustainable development innovation zones.

Taken together, we hope that these will help us improve the capacity of governments and entrepreneurs to access relevant STI solutions, and to strengthen collaborations around the development and operationalization of the TFM’s online platform.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is important that we don’t talk in generalities. We must focus on concrete ideas, options and actions.

In this regard, I am pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between my Department and the Ministry of Science and Technology that will ensure continuity to our joint efforts.

I would also like to take this opportunity to once again thank the Chinese government for their leadership and commitment, and the municipal government of Shanghai for its warm hospitality and generosity.

I wish you all a very successful meeting and a fruitful study visit.

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