The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Division of ESCWA held the fifth meeting of the Consultative Committee on Scientific and Technological Development and Technological Innovation (ESTIC) in Beirut, during 29-30 March 2010. The meeting was an opportunity to assess the progress achieved since the previous committee meeting, and to direct future strategies towards maximizing benefits from fostering the use of ICTs in the development processes. It resulted with a number of recommendations, and featured the launching of the "Regional Profile of the Information Society in Western Asia – 2009" and a special session addressing the impact of technologies on climate change, which is considered a priority area within the work of ESCWA.
The meeting aimed to (a) Review the achievements of the ICT Division during the biennium 2008-2009, address its programme of work for 2010-2011, and proposed strategic framework for the biennium 2012-2013; the latter was submitted to the 26th ESCWA ministerial session for adoption, and to proceed to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and General Assembly; (b) Follow-up on Resolution 284 of the 25th ESCWA session in 2008, related to the establishment of the ESCWA Regional Technology Centre; and (c) Overview technological trends and the impact of ICT and other technologies on climate change.
Participants included 25 experts in science, technology and innovation (STI), including ICT, from academic institutions and research centres, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations and enterprises. Participants were from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Oman, Syrian Arab Republic and Tunisia.
The meeting resulted in recommendations relating to the implementation of the ICTD work programme and a draft resolution related to the establishment of the ESCWA Regional Technology Centre, mainly including: Conducting a study to identify regional priorities for research and innovation; building regional capacity to start and host incubators for the creation of new ICT companies; promoting quality education, starting from the school base to the higher education levels in order to enable innovation among youth in a way that fuels their intellectual capabilities throughout their university education; addressing the challenges of climate change within each of the production processes and considering technology transfer to support mitigation and adaptation measures; building professional communication channels covering the region's focus areas for development, towards meeting the needs of member countries; and connecting with global and regional initiatives to support needs assessment studies, information exchange and capacity building.
The meeting report includes additional information on the meeting, and inquiries and correspondences are to be addressed to:
Mr. Mansour Farah, Chief, ICT Policies Section, ICT Division, ESCWA, Beirut, Lebanon
T +961-1-978538, F +961-1-981510