UN Commission on Science & Technology for Development (CSTD)

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The UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is an intergovernmental forum (subsidiary body of the ECOSOC) which discusses science, technology and innovation (STI) – what is new, what matters, what is changing, what the impact is – and how this affects development and a sustainable future for all. As such, it provides a space where States can raise critical challenges and explore opportunities presented by rapid technological development – to ensure developing countries and people do not get left behind. Outcomes of the CSTD include providing the UN General Assembly and ECOSOC with high-level advice on relevant STI issues.

In a world in which societies and economies are increasingly relying on STI advancements, including digital technologies, STI must play a central role in building a better post-COVID19 future and sustainable urban areas. That is why the CSTD decided that one of its priority themes for 2022 would be STI for sustainable urban development in a post-pandemic world. For that purpose, it organized a high-level session on 30 March 2022 to discuss national and international experiences, and identify strategies to deploy and scale up science, technology and innovation for sustainable urban development in a post-COVID 19 world.

Ahead of that high-level session, the CSTD held an intersessional panel in November 2021 and reviewed an interesting issue paper which provides an overview of the contribution that STI practices make towards overcoming or mitigating some of the most pressing sustainability challenges facing the urban sociotechnical systems.

While the membership of the CSTD is composed of 43 States, its discussions also involve civil society representatives, academia and the private sector. Strong links exist with other UN bodies (i.e., Commission on the Status of Women, Commission on Social Development, ITU, Regional Commissions, UNESCO). The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) hosts the Secretariat of the CSTD which meets annually in Geneva.


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May 2, 2022