Minister Sarath Amunugama participates in the high level discussions at the 21st Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development

“Developing strategies to meet the emerging and disruptive technologies so as to become competitive regionally and globally is an important priority for Sri Lanka”, stated the Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage Dr. Sarath Amunugama, participating at the 21st Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held in Geneva from 14-18 May 2018.

Addressing the high level round table on “impact of rapid technological change on the achievement of sustainable development goals”, the Minister elaborated the various challenges faced by developing countries, which hindered the positive impact of rapid technological changes in achieving sustainable development goals. He underlined the need for comprehensive studies on hazards as well as on the negative impact of new and emerging technologies on industries, and stressed the importance of leveraging technologies that had the potential for increased market share and competitiveness.

Minister Amunugama identified state intervention and international collaboration as vital to address the challenges of inequalities and disparities between and within countries.  He further emphasized the important role of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research in popularizing science, at all the levels of the society through various initiatives such as promotion of science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) education.  The Ministry accords the highest priority to creating linkages between academia, industry tie-ups and Government, thus expanding the technology-based space for sustainable economic growth.

At the high level discussion on the “role of science, technology and innovation in supporting sustainable and resilient societies”, Minister Amunugama shared with CSTD the experiences of Sri Lanka in mobilizing science, technology and innovation to address developmental challenges.  Sri Lanka’s vision and initiatives in achieving SDG Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation, Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy, Goal 11: Sustainable cities and societies, Goal 12: Sustainable consumption and production, and Goal 15: Life on land were highlighted.

The Sri Lanka delegation to the 21st CSTD comprised of Ambassador A.L. A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Prof. V. Kumar, Chairperson of the National Institute of Fundamental Studies of Sri Lanka, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Deputy Permanent Representative and Minister Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka Ms. Shashika Somaratne.

During his visit to Geneva, Minister Amunugama had extensive discussions with senior officials of CERN on further enhancing scientific collaboration, as well as  meetings with senior officials of ILO. Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD Ms. Isabelle Duran warmly received the Minister at the UNCTAD Headquarters, and both explored new avenues of bilateral partnership between Sri Lanka and UNCTAD.  Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Director/Trade Logistics of UNCTAD was associated with Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
23 May 2018

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