Remarks at the 6th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Allison Schwier
Acting Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State
New York, New York
May 5, 2021


On behalf of the United States of America, I am honored to be here with you today.

Our world is at an inflection point. In this moment of accelerating global challenges—including the pandemic and the climate crisis—one thing is certain: we will only succeed in upholding our shared democratic values by working in common cause with our closest allies and partners.

Innovation thrives and prosperity endures in an environment of open inquiry, as well as respect for property rights, rule of law, and freedom of expression for all.

The U.S. will stand with our allies, work with like-minded partners, and work together with all relevant stakeholders to pool our collective strengths to advance shared interests and deter common threats. We renew our commitment to global development and international cooperation and will address the crises of today while promoting resilience and truly shared prosperity for the future.

Success for more than half of the Sustainable Development Goals will require Science and Technology Innovations to be achieved. Investments in new and improved technologies will be critical to keeping a goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C within reach, a theme that was emphasized by countries around the world at the Leaders Summit on Climate two weeks ago.

Global challenges show all too clearly that the biggest threats we face respect no borders or walls and must be met with collective action. Pandemics and other biological risks, as well as the escalating climate crisis, all pose profound and, in some cases, existential dangers. None can be effectively addressed by one nation acting alone. And none can be effectively addressed with the United States on the sidelines.

The United States understands the importance of STI, and how it can be used to advance our health, our economic welfare, and our national security.

We rejoined the Paris Agreement, submitted an ambitious 2030 emissions target, and convened the aforementioned Leaders Summit on Climate, reengaging with global leaders to work together to address climate challenges. In regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are addressing the advent of new variants, and President Biden announced America’s steadfast support for the people of India, who have been impacted by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

Rapid changes in technology will shape every aspect of our lives and our national interests, and we must ensure that in our deployment of emerging technologies, we prioritize human rights and democratic values, foster cooperation, establish guardrails against misuse or malign action, and reduce uncertainty and manage the risk that competition will lead to conflict.

America intends to utilize our scientific and technological leadership for the common good, working alongside our partners to establish the new rules and practices that will allow us all to seize the opportunities that advances in technology present.

Thank you.