UAE calls for addressing gaps in access to science and technology at UN

The United Arab Emirates has urged the international community to close the gap on access to science and technology to improve lives across the world.

“Science and technology have played a significant role in the last year,” Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technologies, said via a video statement at the UN’s sixth annual Science, Technology and Innovation Forum. “It was the tool that held up our healthcare systems, as scientists and doctors learnt more about the virus. It was the tool that provided us with a means of prevention, the vaccine. It was the tool that enabled our children to continue to learn. It was the tool that upheld economies as work continued in its various forms.”

Al Amiri emphasised the power of science in bringing people together and finding solutions to complex issues. She highlighted how the UAE is shaping its science and technology ecosystem, primarily focusing on climate change, healthcare, and food and water security.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Amiri underlined the importance of agility. She noted how the UAE has revised its policies to ensure they were robust, had both local and global impact, addressed key challenges, and transformed said challenges into opportunities.

Furthermore, she shared that the UAE built a more resilient science and technology ecosystem to address challenges, increase productivity, and impact the economy and. She added that the UAE continues to strengthen its international efforts and cooperation in research and development.

As an example she cited the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate that was announced by the UAE along with the US and other partners during the US President Biden’s Summit on Climate. The initiative aims to accelerate agricultural research and development that will enable the industry to better combat climate change and as such serves as a great example of stakeholders coming together from various fields to solve global challenges.

The UN’s Science, Technology and Innovation Forum is an annual gathering of governments, civil society, the private sector, the scientific community, UN entities, youth and other stakeholders to identify and examine technology needs and gaps to help advance progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s meeting focused on science technology and innovation for a sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery, and effective pathways of inclusive action towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: WAM/Esraa Ismail/MOHD AAMIR

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