This year's Commission will focus on two priority themes - Strategic foresight for the post-2015 development agenda and digital development - as well as the progress made in implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
The 18th session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) will convene in Geneva from 4 to 8 May 2015 to review key science and technology trends and their role in the development process.
Priority theme 1: Strategic foresight for the post-2015 development agenda
On Wednesday, 6 May, a high-level panel will discuss the theme of strategic foresight and how it could help policymakers gain insight on future STI trends, thus enabling them to allocate resources in a way that prepares societies for disruptive change.
In particular, the panel will review technologies that could help policymakers manage food and water resources more efficiently, and assist them in addressing growth in energy demands while simultaneously moving to more sustainable energy systems.
Discussions will also consider trends in biotechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials and manufacturing.
Priority theme 2: Digital Development
Likewise, the high-level panel will examine the theme of digital development and look at new technologies that could bridge the digital divide and contribute to job growth in developing countries.
Discussions on this theme will also consider the emergence of millennials — 15 to 24 year olds with five or more years of online experience — and their potential as game changers in the global South.
According to recent estimates, this segment of the population would comprise 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025. However, it will be necessary to strengthen the digital capabilities of millennials in developing countries to enable them to transition from being ICT users to digital innovators.
Outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
The third main theme of the CSTD will be the Ministerial Roundtable on Monday, 4 May, on the 10-year review of progress made in implementing the WSIS outcomes.
An interactive debate will follow the Roundtable and continue through Tuesday, 5 May.