Statement by H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Second Briefing to the Member States on the STI Forum

At the outset, I would like to thank everyone gathered here today for making this briefing possible. Since the last briefing, which was held on January 29th, my fellow Co-Chair, Ambassador Juan Sandoval Mendiolea, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico, and I have been working hard in preparation for the Third United Nations Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI Forum). At this time, we would like to provide you with some updated information regarding the Forum and to respectfully request the continued support of the Member States, after which we would like to take a moment to have an exchange of opinions among the Member States on the Forum.

At this year’s STI Forum, we are aiming for a concrete and action-oriented forum that will move us decisively forward in our effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to the STI Forum, there are various other forums and frameworks covering science and technology, both inside and outside of the United Nations. We would like to organically connect these discussions together, and to develop partnerships among these various forums and frameworks, in order to further advance the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.
I would now like to take this opportunity to explain some specific elements of the upcoming STI Forum.

  1. Summary of the program
First, if you would please take a look at the draft program, copies of which have been handed out, you will see that, in addition to the Opening and Concluding/way forward sessions, the other sessions of the Forum can be categorized into three groups. The first is a stand-alone session on the “Impact of rapid technological change on the achievement of SDGs”. The second group comprises several sessions concerning the themes of this year’s HLPF, which are Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation, Goal 7: Affordable and clean Energy, Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities, Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production, and Goal 15: Life on land, we are also planning, on the second day of the Forum, to have sessions on indigenous knowledge and home-grown technology. The third group is a stand-alone session on the STI Roadmap.
The necessity of the STI Roadmap was highlighted at both of the last two STI forums, which is why in this third round, we are building on the previous discussions to develop a set of model Roadmaps and country case studies that will help localize or adapt scientific knowledge, technological prowess and innovative ideas to country-specific contexts as part of national SDG strategies. We believe that the STI Roadmap should serve as the first step on a journey of concrete actions toward 2030.
We are looking forward to the active participation of many Member States. In addition, this year there will be no parallel sessions so that the Member States can reasonably follow all the discussions with interpreters.
  1. STI week
Another one of our goals this year is to strengthen partnerships, combining the numerous discussions on science, technology and innovation which are being conducted all over the world. In this connection, around the STI Forum we will be holding “STI Week” from the 4th to the 7th of June. During STI Week, we will be holding meetings on science and technology for the SDGs both before and after the STI forum. The Global Solutions Summit on the theme “From the Lab to the last mile: Technology Development Business Models for the SDGs” will be held on the 4th of June. Then on the 7th of June, the Global Sustainable Technology & Innovation Conference or “G-STIC 2018” will be held to discuss integrated technological solutions. General information on these meetings has already been distributed together with the program passed around earlier. Please take a look at those documents.
At the last briefing, we heard the call from several of the Member States to lend a greater focus to the gender perspective. Though we have not planned any sessions specifically about gender, because the topics of STI Forum are aligned with themes of the HLPF, we hope to focus the discussions at G-STIC on the issue of gender, and to broadly include a gender perspective in the discussions of the STI Forum.
  1. Match making between investors and innovators.
The Agenda 2030 and Addis Ababa Action Agenda mandate that the STI forum should provide a place for multiple stakeholders to interact with each other in order to facilitate matchmaking and networking. In accordance with this mandate, we will be providing several opportunities for matchmaking between investors and innovators. For example, there will be a networking event in the afternoon of the first day of the Forum, a reception conducted by the co-chairs that same evening and an “Investors and Innovators Round Table” on the second day. In addition, time will be allocated in the main sessions of the Forum for individual innovators to pitch ideas and technologies related to each of the SDGs to be discussed.
We are preparing to make the STI Forum a place to realize the practical application and scaling up of the innovations that will help us achieve the SDGs. In this regard, we would like to ask each Member State to publicly announce the Forum in order to inform and encourage the participation of innovators and investors from every country.
  1. Request for support
Although the STI Forum is a framework established in Agenda 2030 and Addis Ababa Action Agenda, it has no budgetary backing at all. Among the innovators who have been selected to participate in the “Call for Innovations”, which is the innovation competition of the STI Forum, many will have difficulties arranging to cover their travel expenses to participate in the Forum. This is especially true for those innovators coming from developing countries. Therefore, we would like to ask every Member State to consider providing support for the participants in the STI forum, which is necessary to ensure full multi-stakeholder involvement.
I would also like Member States to encourage multi-stakeholders, including scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators and representatives of civil society and private sector in your countries to join the STI Forum. Please note that the deadline for participants who do not already have UN passes to register on the STI Forum website is May 25th. Registration is first-come-first-serve, and will close once the number of registrants reaches the limit of event passes. Please do not wait until the last minute.
I have another request to Member States. To make the dialogue interactive and lively, I would like to request you not to read any statements. Please be encouraged, however, to submit any written statements to the Secretariat to be posted on the UN Website.
In order to realize a society in which no one is left behind and to achieve the SDGs, it is important to take actions involving every stakeholder, including governments, the private sector, academia, and civil society. It is necessary also, in order to realize a society where everyone is able to receive the benefits of science and technology, not only to utilize the most advanced and cutting-edge technologies but also to fully disseminate and implement existing technologies, low-tech solutions and local knowledge from every region to the rest of the world. For this reason, we need ideas and inputs from all the Member States, and publicity for the STI Forum in each country is therefore essential. Thus, we kindly ask for your continued initiatives to make the STI Forum a success.
I thank you.