Statement by H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, Report on the STI Forum 2018 at the High Level Political Forum

(As delivered)
Yes, Good morning.
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
As the Co-Chair of the third annual STI Forum, it is my great honor to report the outcome of this year’s STI Forum at the High-Level Political Forum.
 
We, the Co-Chairs, are pleased that the STI Forum this year was successfully completed with rich and action-oriented insights, and Interactive discussions among around 1,000 participants representing governments, scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, funding organizations, and civil society. This STI Forum was an opportunity for fruitful discussions on six SDGs as well as several cross-cutting themes. The Forum also served as a venue for networking among multi-stakeholders, including innovators and funders. In addition, there were exhibitions introducing efforts for the SDGs by innovators and the private sector.
 
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all the participants for their active involvement, and for all the concerned organizations, including UNDESA and UNCTAD as the co-leads of Inter-Agency Task Team, IATT,  and other IATT agencies, for their hard work.
 
Summary of the Sessions
 
Among all the rich discussions, I would like to share the key take away on the sessions under my co-chairmanship. The rest of the summary will be shared by my fellow Co-Chair, Ambassador Juan Sandoval.  
 
First, at the session on SDG 12, “sustainable consumption and production”, we discussed the critical importance of promoting changes towards the SDG 12, engaging young people and children, supporting bottom-up approaches, encouraging urban agriculture, and introducing appropriate and effective regulations.
 
Second, the Forum reviewed SDG 15, “sustainable terrestrial ecosystems”. The discussion stressed the need for bioethics, as well as the necessity of regulations to ensure responsivity and accountability for decisions regarding such technologies.
 
Third, that was my favorite session, we highlighted the local and indigenous knowledge, they has an important role to play in accelerating progress towards achieving SDGs. It was also discussed the importance of synergies can be realized between local and indigenous knowledge with modern scientific technologies. 
 
Fourth, the participants held interactive dialogues with the 10-Member Group of high-level representatives. This session engaged on their vision for the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, or TFM.
 
STI for SDGs Roadmaps
 
In addition to four sessions held under my co-chairmanship, I would like to highlight the discussion on the STI for SDGs roadmaps.
 
The STI Forum 2018 served as the starting point for action on the STI for SDGs roadmaps, building on the discussions of the past STI Forums on the importance and the challenges of the roadmaps.
 
STI for SDGs requires holistic, multidisciplinary and integrated approaches. The STI for SDGs roadmaps are to serve as a “shared communication tool and tracking tool” to visualize what we must do and by when, and as well as to monitor progress. Such roadmaps should enable more systematic mutual collaboration and cooperation, where stakeholders exchange the necessary know-how with each other to realize further progress on the SDGs. This can be made possible when each country carefully considers how they can integrate STI into their national strategies and policies, and formulate appropriate STI roadmaps according to their own will.
 
In order to develop such STI for SDGs roadmaps, leadership at the highest political levels of government is indispensable. It was suggested that a group of Member States could lead the way, undertaking serious efforts over the next year to develop their own versions of such roadmaps, and reporting on their experiences at the next HLPF in 2019.
 
Multi-stakeholder Engagement
 
In addition to the fruitful discussions, this year’s STI Forum facilitated several multi-stakeholder engagements.
 
In order to fulfill its mandate, this year the STI Forum, for the first time, promoted networking between investors, innovators and other partners through a special event and a reception under SDG 17, “global partnership”, hosted by the Co-Chairs.
 
This exhibition hub, featured the winners of a global call for innovations, and incorporated technologies which demonstrated concrete technological solutions toward achieving the SDGs.
 
Another new feature at this year’s Forum was inviting panelists from other STI-related conferences to share their discussions and outcomes, including CSTD, the World Science Forum, the Global Solutions Summit and G-STIC. The STI Forum can serve as a place where we can hear many of the relevant discussions on STI for SDGs coming out of processes, in and outside of the UN system, by leveraging its convening power.
 
STI for SDGs for All
 
Through its numerous discussions and multi-stakeholder engagements, the STI Forum gathered many insights toward SDG-specific solutions, including those that help to manage trade-offs and realize synergies. Further work on trade-offs and synergies would be welcome in the way forward, as well as more attention to addressing bottlenecks in the scaling-up, dissemination and adoption of technologies. 
 
Having said those, throughout my interactions with many stakeholders, I realized that “STI for SDGs” is not yet a concept familiar to everyone, despite the importance of and potential role that STI can play toward the achievement of SDGs. We need to encourage everyone around the world to recognize this issue as a personal one. To do so, capacity building and education are essential.
 
The Way Forward
 
In conclusion we, the Co-Chairs, are confident that we are able to place the building blocks of this year’s STI Forum on top of the success of the past two Forums, and further expanded the horizon and coverage of the Forum. On the way forward, the TFM’s intersessional work should build links to important STI-related conferences in order to draw on diverse stakeholder communities, and to facilitate their interlinkages, synergies and mutual support.
 
For the discussion next year, we the Co-Chairs expect the Forum to further strengthen its convening power to catalyze new initiatives and partnerships to promote the better and wiser use of STI for positive impact to achieve SDGs.
 
I thank you very much for you kind attention. Thank you.