An executive forum was organised by UNCTAD as part of its Science and Technology Diplomacy Initiative. The Forum took place from 10 A.M. to 12:00 A.M. in Room XXVI at the Palais des Nations.
The Forum was intended to inform delegations, both potential donors and potential recipients, and solicit their support for the Science and Technology Diplomacy Initiative, which has been initiated by UNCTAD in collaboration with the Science, Technology and Innovation Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. The Initiative is being developed in accordance with Resolution 2001/31 of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), adopted in July 2001, following recommendations of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) and consultations with the Secretary-General of UNCTAD
In view of the direct relevance of the issues to be addressed by the WTO Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology at its second formal meeting, scheduled to take place at the WTO on 11 June 2002, the Forum was useful in examining some of the key issues related to trade and technology transfer.
The Science and Technology Diplomacy Initiative seeks to contribute to a better understanding by trade diplomats and policy makers of the scientific underpinnings of trade issues and to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to negotiate and make informed decisions in international negotiations where science and technology play a central role. This would be achieved by providing training workshops and targeted executive seminars for diplomats, scientists and policy makers, especially from developing countries, to assist them in international negotiations in the post-Doha era, inter alia, on matters related to the Convention on Biological Diversity, biotechnology, and the transfer of technology.
A host of prominent personalities, including one Nobel Laureate, Professor Werner Arber, attended the Forum as keynote speakers, alongside other high-level participants.