(Check against delivery)Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is our great pleasure to welcome you all to this reception today to celebrate the achievements to date on the SDGs Roadmaps process.
Let me first extend our warmest thanks to Mr. Macharia Kamau, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, for co-sponsoring, as well as our sincerest appreciations to Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President for the 2030 Agenda of the World Bank Group, and Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, for generously hosting today’s special event.
Our targets are clear: achieve the SDGs ensuring that “no one is left behind.” To this end, science, technology and innovation (STI) are powerful enablers and accelerators for the SDGs, especially when it comes to achieving transformational impacts and reaching the most vulnerable and marginalized.
However, STI needs to be coupled with appropriate skills and knowledge. According to the ITU’s report, while 90 % of the world’s population lives in an area that has broadband access, only 50% of the world population is using the internet. This fact is a good illustration of the significant gaps that remain in access and use of STI. To bridge these gaps, we need to find further opportunities to increase access to quality education and to ensure digital literacy for each individual through a human-centred approach.
During the G20 Summit held in Osaka two weeks ago, G20 leaders reiterated their unified efforts to address global economic challenges and foster global economic growth while harnessing the power of technological innovation, in particular digitalization, and its application for the benefit of all.
One of the outcome documents adopted at the Summit was the Guiding Principles for the Development of STI for SDGs Roadmaps. The Guiding Principles are intended to serve as an effective tool to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagements and international partnerships in sharing and promoting best practices and methodologies for localized and customized application of STI. In this connection, it is worth stressing that the Guiding Principles draw attention to the ethical, social and legal impacts of STI applications.
G20 leaders further committed to investing in human capital and promoting inclusive and equitable quality education for all as emphasized in the G20 Initiative on Human Capital Investment for Sustainable Development, which recognizes the importance of North-South, South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
Japan has been rolling out joint STI research programmes, collectively known as Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development or SATREPS, led by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), since 2008 through the capacity building of researchers all over the world. At the heart of SATREPS is building capacity, which helps partners to find their own solutions and to take ownership of their future. Since 2015, SATREPS programs has been streamlined and aligned with the 17 SDGs. Today, we have brought hundreds of copies of SATREPS brochures, hoping that our experience will inspire the formulation of pilot projects and STI stakeholders gathered here.
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Taking this opportunity, allow me to touch upon the theme of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) to be held from the 28th to the 30th of August in the city of Yokohama, Japan, which was just announced 3 days ago. This year’s theme is “Advancing Africa's Development through People, Technology and Innovation!”
We have been, and will continue to be a global leader in STI, going further in our work to promote STI cooperation with developing countries and international programmes to deliver greater accountability and drive economic and social growth by working together with all of you in the STI family.
Let us keep our spirit of cooperation strong. Let it inform and promote our great work to achieve an inclusive and sustainable world through science, technology and innovation. Thank you again for gathering tonight. I hope you will carry on and enjoy the reception.