Remarks at the ECOSOC High-level Political Forum on Science, technology and innovation

Dr. Allison Schwier
Acting Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary
New York, New York
July 10, 2023


Thank you, Madam Chair. And thank you to today’s impressive panelists.

Excellencies, colleagues, STI is crucial to accelerating our progress towards achieving all of the SDGs and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as we center our work on upholding the inherent dignity of every human being.

Pairing STI with existing efforts to boost education and workforce development, gender equality, good governance, and resource mobilization will accelerate progress in sustainable development and enhance collaboration and equity.

“Enabling environments” are environments where people can learn about and develop STI skillsets and those that foster STI development, engagement, deployment, governance, and use through innovation and investment. Creating enabling environments is crucially important for STI, given its role in all aspects of economic and social development and well-being, in addition to its vast impact on humanitarian affairs and dignity for all.

The United States is committed to ensuring STI collaboration thrives by fostering strong networks of governments, the private sector, community organizations, and universities where there is a commitment to conduct science in inclusive and equitable environments and to design and deploy technologies in ways that reinforce our highest values for the benefit of all people.

STI collaboration is about pushing the boundaries of what is known, all while learning from each other, growing together, and leveraging the diverse ideas and unique strengths of people, institutions, organizations, and communities across the science and technology ecosystem.

Overcoming the many distinct and overlapping crises that we face together through sharing our knowledge is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, the UN Charter, and our work.

I want to highlight two programs of the United States to show how we partner with countries around the world in support of STI.

The US Agency for International Development’s Feed the Future Labs initiative is a long-running program in many countries that relies on the expertise of higher education institutions in driving innovation along various points of the agriculture value chain.

The U.S. Department of State supports STEM research and education opportunities, particularly for women and underrepresented groups, through programs like TechGirls and an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) called “Hidden No More: Empowering Women Leaders in STEM.” These opportunities foster innovation and knowledge-based economic development and help facilitate new international research projects and joint entrepreneurship.

On June 30, the UNESCO membership accepted a U.S. proposal that will allow the United States to take the next, formal steps toward fully rejoining the organization. As the Secretary stated on that day, “in pursuing full membership with UNESCO, the United States makes clear its commitment to multilateralism and diplomacy on critical issues, including protection of journalists, expanding access to education, shaping best practices on new and emerging technologies, protecting cultural heritage, and remembering the immeasurable toll of the Holocaust to ensure such atrocities never happen again.”

I am encouraged by our conversation today and look forward to deeper focus on STI as nations aim to meet the 2030 SDGs.

Thank you.