Sustainable Development

A new Global Agenda 

In 2015 the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the 2030 Agenda. In it, 17 goals and 169 targets have been agreed to “guide the decisions we take over the next fifteen years”.

In adopting the Agenda, world leaders resolved to free humanity from poverty, secure a healthy planet for future generations, and build peaceful, inclusive societies as a foundation for ensuring lives of dignity for all. The 2030 Agenda is ambitious with a set of 17 integrated and indivisible Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets to guide all countries.

The role of Science Technology and Innovation (STI) must be addressed in all contexts, that includesthe international agendas for development.

On ts regards, the European Commission established and independent Expert Group on the “Follow-up to Rio+20, notably the Sustainable Development Goals”  with the purpose of providing advice on the role of STI for implementing the new sustainable development agenda, including the potential of research and innovation cooperation in this context

The SDGs cover a wide range of topics, from social (health, poverty, education, migration, gender balance, etc.) to economic (production and consumption, jobs, energy, resilience, etc.), from environmental (climate change, water, ecosystems, etc.) to rule of law and governance (accountable institutions, policy coordination, transparency, effectiveness, reducing corruption and violence, etc.).

Science, technology and innovation are fundamental ingredients of such a shift, as they allow improving efficiency in both economic and environmental senses, developing new and more sustainable ways to satisfy human needs, overcoming historical divides, as well as empowering people to drive their own future.

The participants at the VI SOM in March 2017 took note of the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in goals such as: innovation, protection of the environment, urban resilience, health and renewable energy, among others, which aim to promote inclusive growth and the reduction of poverty.

Which is the role of Science and Technology in this new international context?

Science, technology and innovation have been recognised as one of the main drivers behind productivity increases and a key long-term lever for economic growth and prosperity. It is also vital for environmental sustainability. In the context of the new Agenda and for achieving the SDGs STI plays an even more central role. First of all, STI features strongly both in Goal 17 on Means of Implementation, as well as a cross-cutting one to achieve several sectoral Goals and Targets. Fostering innovation is part of the Sustainable Development Goal 9 related to resilient infrastructure and inclusive, sustainable industrialisation. In particular, Target 9.5 elevates the role of research and innovation policy well beyond STI as one of the Means of Implementation.

The Technology Facilitation Mechanism

The 2030 Agenda also launches a Technology Facilitation Mechanism in order to support the policies for SDGs, based on a multi-stakeholder collaboration and composed of:

  • A United Nations Interagency Task Team on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs;
  • A collaborative Multistakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs;
  • An Online Platform for Technology Knowledge and Information Sharing (OPTKIS)

A Policy Advice

During SOM 2017 in March 2017, the European Commission announced the launch of a new initiative in support of the CELAC countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals through the deployment of an external independent advice.

The Policy Advice is open to the participation of all the CELAC countries, in collaboration with EU Member States, and will be triggered on a voluntary basis, being fully demand-driven. It is targeting especially national administrations competent in the field of R&I. The Policy Advice will be implemented through various exercises of mutual learning and exchange of best practices, engaging a small group of countries interested in addressing specific topics of common interest. Since its launch, CELAC countries have been consulted on their interest to participate in the Policy Advice.

For further information please refer to the Project Library section.