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Statement by Dr. Zhao Xinli, Counselor in Charge of Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations at the 2nd Committee of the 68th Session of the General Assembly under Agenda Item 21 (b): Science and Technology for Development

2013/10/23

 

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and thanks the Secretary-General for his report contained in document A/68/227.

The Commission on Science and Technology for Development has kept up its productive work over the past two years. During its 15th and 16th annual sessions, the CSTD considered such priority themes as “Innovation, research, technology transfer for mutual advantage, entrepreneurship and collaborative development in the information society”, “Complementary ICT and science, technology, engineering and mathematics assets to address development issues”, “Science, technology and innovation for sustainable cities and peri-urban communities”,and “Internet broadband for an inclusive digital society”. The CSTD annual sessions also included ministerial roundtables on such topics as “Review of progress made in the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes”, “Harnessing science and technology to address development challenges”, and

 

“Extending rural access—universal service and rural build out—Version 2.0”. The agendas of the two sessions were focused and highly relevant, and the outcomes positive. China appreciates these developments.

Mr. Chairman,

My country is pursuing the “Chinese Dream” of revitalizing the Chinese nation. Together with the aspirations of other nations for prosperity, the “Chinese Dream” constitutes an important part of the inspiring vision of mankind. It will not only provide the Chinese people with a vast canvas to unleash their potentials and realize their individual dreams, but also creat development opportunities for other peoples who love peace and believe in win-win cooperation. The Chinese Government views scientific and technological innovation as a strategic pillar in its endeavor to raise economic productivity and overall national strength, which must therefore be placed at the center of our national development framework. In order to realize the dream of national revitalization, China is implementing an innovation-driven development strategy.

Throughout the world, science and technology are increasingly becoming a main engine for economic and social development, and leveraging the power of scientific and technological innovation has become a general trend in global development. A new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is in the making. Signs of revolutionary breakthroughs in critical areas of science and technology have been observed. Forces are building up to engender the interconnection and integration of key technologies and trigger the overall progress and breakthrough of such technologies. Confronted with a myriad of challenges such as hunger and poverty, inadequate health care, environmental degradation, energy and resource shortage, financial crisis, waste disposal and water and food insecurity, the international community should highly value the role of scientific and technological innovation, and prioritize it in the post-2015 Development Agenda. China supports the fruitful initiatives by the Secretary-General in promoting scientific and technological innovation, including his recommendations on establishing and improving the UN Mechanism for Scientific and Technological Innovation. In this connection, China wishes to make the following proposals:

First of all, we must full leverage scientific and technological innovation to promote development. History has proven and will continue to show that mankind’s resilience in times of crisis and each and every leap forward of human civilization depend ultimately on scientific and technological breakthroughs. Be it the pursuit of sustainable development by developing countries or the quest to weather the economic crisis by the developed world, the answers can only be found in scientific and technological innovation. The international community therefore should rely more on scientific and technological innovation as a means to promote economic and social development.

Secondly, we must designate sound goals for post-2015 development. In formulating the post-2015 Development Agenda, it is important to take stock of lessons learned, extensively seek inputs from experts, scholars and think tanks, fully acknowledge the right to development and the aspirations of all peoples, and identify a set of actionable goals that allow scientific and technological innovation, including ICT, to play a leading and enabling role.

Thirdly, the international community must enhance coordination in scientific and technological innovation. China supports the recommendation of the Secretary-General to establish within the UN system a mechanism for scientific and technological innovation. Such a mechanism should be coordinated and coherent, fair and transparent, and lean and efficient.

Fourthly, we must build up the capacity of developing countries in scientific and technological innovation. In fact, both developed and developing countries need to constantly enhance their capacity in this regard. However, due to historical reasons and underdevelopment in related fields, many developing countries are confronted with multiple challenges in their pursuit of greater innovative capability. The international community, especially developed countries, should increase technical assistance to developing countries and make good on relevant commitments. The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives roses. Helping others with sincerity is effectively helping oneself.

Last but not least, we must promote greater openness and win-win cooperation among states in scientific and technological innovation. Members of the international community should continuously enhance mutual understanding and trust, and adhere to the principle of “cooperation, openness and mutual benefit”. We should work in this spirit to establish a balanced and efficient mechanism for the transfer of technology and the protection of intellectual property rights. Unnecessary import and export restrictions on high technologies should be reduced or removed with a view to facilitating technology transfer and the trade in high-tech products. Cooperation in scientific research and technological R&D should be further expanded so as to create an international community of scientific and technological innovation.

Mr. Chairman,

As a major developing country, China remains committed to opening up its scientific and technological sector and deepening international cooperation. China stands ready to work closely with other member States and the international scientific community to contribute to meeting the common challenges facing human kind.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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