New York

26 November 2014

Note to Correspondents on Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries

The Secretary-General today announced the members of a High-level Panel to advise on the organizational and operational aspects of the proposed Technology Bank and Science, Technology and Innovation Supporting Mechanism dedicated to the least developed countries (LDCs). 

The Secretary-General has appointed Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of the World Academy of Sciences in Trieste, Italy and former Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Scientific Research of the Republic of Rwanda, as the chair of the Panel. The full list of Panel members, which includes five women and five men from least developed countries and their development partners from the North and the South appears below.

The Secretary-General has asked the High-level Panel to prepare practical recommendations on this important matter, which can provide a strong impetus to accelerating structural transformation and sustainable development of the LDCs.

The High-level Panel is constituted in response to a request to the Secretary-General by the UN General Assembly, during its 68th session, to establish a panel to examine the scope and functions of the proposed Technology Bank, its organizational aspects and its institutional linkages with the United Nations.  

The Panel will hold its first meeting in February 2015. It is expected to submit its report to the Secretary- General during summer next year, for transmission to the General Assembly during its 70th session.

High-level Panel on Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries

Romain Murenzi (Rwanda)

Mr. Romain Murenzi is currently Executive Director, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in Trieste, Italy, an autonomous international organization for the advancement of science in developing countries which was officially launched by the UN Secretary-General in 1985. Previously, he served as Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Research of the Republic of Rwanda, and visiting Professor at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS).  Mr. Murenzi has wide experience spanning the science, technology and innovation policy fields. He has led and participated in initiatives seeking to catalyze relationships between countries and societies through science cooperation.

Mohamed Hassan (Sudan)

Mr. Mohamed H.A. Hassan is Co-chair of IAP, a global network of science academies, and Chairman of the Council, United Nations University (UNU). Previously, he served as President, African Academy of Sciences, Executive Director of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Secretary-General of the Third World Network of Scientific Organizations and the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the United Nations University / Institute of Natural Resources in Africa. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Washington DC-based Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI).

Bruce Lehman (USA)

Mr. Bruce Lehman is Chairman, International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI), Washington. He served as US Commissioner of Patents & Trademarks and Assistant Secretary of Commerce during both terms of the Clinton Administration.  He is a member of the Policy Advisory Commission to the WIPO Director-General, and serves as president of the U.S. Committee for WIPO. Named lawyer of the year by the National Law Journal, the largest selling weekly publication for lawyers in the United States, he has played a key role on intellectual property rights protection in the United States and abroad.

Tebello Nyokong (South Africa)

Born in Lesotho, Ms. Tebello Nyokong is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and nanotechnology at the Rhodes University, South Africa. She was a member of South Africa’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Strategic Review Committee, and also a member of UNESCO High-level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development. She is also the winner of the Africa-Arab State 2009 L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. Ms. Nyokong has been inducted into the Lesotho Hall of Fame.

Dorte Olesen (Denmark)

Ms. Dorte Olesen is a Professor at the Technical University of Denmark and a highly experienced member of the research networking community. Since 2012, she has been the Chair of the Assembly of GÉANT, which is the largest donor to Internet connectivity for National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in the developing world.  Formerly, she was Director General of the Danish IT Centre for Education and Research; Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Copenhagen; and member of several European Commission expert groups.

Posh Raj Pandey (Nepal)

Mr. Posh Raj Pandey is Executive Chairman. South Asia Watch on Trade, Environment and Economics, which is working on capacity building of concerned stakeholders in the context of economic and trade liberalization and globalization.  Earlier, he served as a member of the National Planning Commission of Nepal.  Mr. Pandey has been closely involved with many regional and international trade and development related institutions in South Asia and at the international level for the last two decades.

Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis (Haiti)

Ms. Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis is former Prime Minister of Haiti from September 2008 to November 2009.  Since 1995, she served as the Executive Director of the Knowledge and Freedom Foundation (FOKAL) which focuses on education, culture, community development, environment, gender equity, civil society and training of young entrepreneurs.  She returned to FOKAL as its President after serving as Prime Minister and coordinated special projects related to Haiti’s post-earthquake reconstruction efforts.  The Economist referred to Ms Pierre-Louis in their publication "The World in Figures 2010".

Firdausi Qadri (Bangladesh)

Ms. Firdausi Qadri is Director, Centre for Vaccine Sciences, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). She has experience over 25 years in the development of vaccines for cholera and has expertise in other infectious diseases. A prominent immunologist, she received a major science prize at the TWAS annual meeting in October 2013.

Fang Xin (China)

Ms. Fang Xin is Member of the Presidium of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Vice-President of the Third World Organization for Women in Science. She is noted for her major contributions to the fields of technological innovation, national innovation system and the institutional reform of the national science and technology system.

Hakan Karatas (Turkey)

Nominated by the host country (Turkey) Mr. Hakan Karatas is Director, International Cooperation, at the Scientific and Technology Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).

Gyan Chandra Acharya (ex-officio)

Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya is Under Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, United Nations.