Launch of the Technology and Innovation Report 2021

03 marzo 2021
15:30 - 17:30 hrs. CET

  • What is the impact of frontier technologies on inequalities?

  • How can governments minimize risks and maximize opportunities?

  • How can international cooperation help?

The answer to these questions is critical for the achievement of the SDGs.

Technology is ambiguously seen both as a friend and a foe. Innovation drives prosperity, and frontier technologies (e.g. AI, robotics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology) could be transformative in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But rapid advances can have serious downsides if they outpace the ability of societies to adapt.

UNCTAD's Technology and Innovation Report 2021 critically examines the possibility of frontier technologies widening existing inequalities and creating new ones.

The report focuses on low and middle-income developing countries and least developed countries, as well as on the most vulnerable segments of societies while providing discussion on the effects on high-income countries as parts of the broader context and major drivers of frontier technologies.


The event will launch UNCTAD's Technology and Innovation Report 2021 and will discuss policy options for countries to strategically position themselves to take advantage of new waves of technological change for inclusive and sustainable development.

The launch of the report is also part of the UNCTAD's contribution to the United Nations Initiative on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond, in which UNCTAD leads Cluster III on finance and technology. The event will raise awareness of policy options for countries to harness these frontier technologies and leave no one behind.


The launch will be organized as an online event (2 hr) comprised of a moderated panel discussion and Q&A based on questions posed by participants via chat.

Tentative Programme


  • Officer of Communications team of UNCTAD

Keynote speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Munir Akram, President of the Economic and Social Council
  • Isabelle Durant, Acting Secretary-General of UNCTAD

Presentation of the report

  • Shamika N. Sirimanne, Director of the Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD


  • Peter Major, Chair of the CSTD (Hungary)
  • H.E. Mr. Mohammad Koba, Ambassador and Chargé d'Affaires, mission of Indonesia to the UN, co-chair of the STI Forum
  • H.E. Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Botswana
  • Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science, Associate Vice President (International Engagement), and is an Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton

Note: The panel's composition may change depending on the confirmations, always seeking to ensure gender balance among all speakers.

Q&A with the participation of delegates


Link to the event: Webex Live

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