Launch of exhibition of innovative technology solutions for SDGs
5 June 2018
– AS DELIVERED –
STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. MIROSLAV LAJČÁK, PRESIDENT OF THE 72ND SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AT FORUM ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (STI FORUM): LAUNCH OF EXHIBITION OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS FOR SDGS
Thank you very much and good afternoon, everyone.
I am glad to welcome you all, to the launch of this exhibit.
And I want to make two, very brief points, in doing so.
First, I want to say that we have a lot of exhibitions, taking place here, at the United Nations.
Some of them show us certain periods in history.
Others act as windows, into different countries and societies in the world, today.
But, this one is different.
Because, it looks ahead – to the future.
It is no secret: science and technology are rapidly advancing.
We can no longer talk about any global challenge – or any issue on the United Nations agenda – without addressing them.
I have seen this first-hand.
For example, when I convened a high-level event on water, we heard about scientific solutions to water sanitation.
Or, when we invited hundreds of young people to a dialogue last week, technology and innovation came up, in almost every discussion.
So, if we want to see progress – in any area – we need to tap into them.
And this is particularly true, for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Because, the SDGs act as an ambitious commitment to transform the lives of countless people.
And, today we have ideas all around us – on how we can better use the tools of science, technology and innovation, to achieve them.
We have seen some of these ideas before. Others are completely new.
But every single one could help us meet the promise we made, in 2015, to leave no one behind.
As my second point, I want to focus on our wider activities in New York this week.
We are all here, for the third global multi-stakeholder forum…on Science, Technology and Innovation, for the SDGs.
Which means we are here, to create a space for brainstorming.
…A space to share new ideas.
…A space for interaction and dialogue.
…A space for match-making… between those who belong to the science, technology and innovation communities – and those from other sectors.
And it gets us closer to the partnerships we need more of, to achieve our goals.
Here, I am talking about partnerships that allow policy-makers to better create enabling environments for innovation.
…That give funders more access to investment opportunities.
…And that encourage regional and international organisations to use their convening power, to scale up promising initiatives.
I am confident that today’s exhibit will be one of many opportunities, to build these kinds of partnerships.
In fact, I will convene a high-level event on financing next week – on the 11th of June.
We will use it to explore how science, technology and innovation can open up financing opportunities, for Sustainable Development.
I hope we can bring new ideas and proposals to the table.
For example, on the potential of Artificial Intelligence to lead to new types of funding.
And I look forward to welcoming some of you back here.
And, I want to say one final thing – before I conclude – on the role of women and girls. If we want to harness the opportunities that science, technology and innovation can offer – we must do more to be inclusive. This means breaking down the barriers that still exist, for women and girls today.
So, I want to thank all of you.
Thanks to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and its Under-Secretary-General, His Excellency, Mr. Liu Zhenmin.
I also want to thank Her Excellency, Ms. Marie Chatardová, President of the Economic and Social Council.
Thanks also go to other crucial partners, like the Global Innovation Exchange or Qlik.
And to all of you, participating, in this launch today.
We have a real opportunity, here, to explore how we can better use the tools of science, technology and innovation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and to keep our promise to leave no one behind.
So, thank you, again, for being here – and enjoy the exhibit!