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FAMILIES IN BALANCE: Placing Science and Technology, Culture and Innovation in the heart of Sustainable Development at Local Level and in the Family

Encompassing with the theme of the 2013 UN ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review, "Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals", the theme for our World Family Summit +8 was: "Families in Balance: Placing Science and Technology, Culture and Innovation in the heart of Sustainable Development at Local Level and in the Family".

In 2013, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) decided to put a spotlight on the role of science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture – and related national and international policies – in promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Indeed, science, technology and innovation can play a critical role in each and every MDG, including by:

  • fostering access to knowledge;
  • increasing productivity, industrialization, economic growth and the creation of decent jobs;
  • promoting health and access to essential drugs;
  • achieving food security through sustainable, equitable agricultural systems and by raising production and incomes, especially of smallholder farms;
  • promoting renewable energy technologies in order to respond to the dual challenge of reducing energy poverty while mitigating climate change.

Focusing on science, technology and innovation was also a follow up to the Rio +20 outcome, which had a significant focus on green technologies.

Science and technology are continuously evolving, influenced by structural shifts in the world economy, the steady globalization of innovative activity, the rise in new actors and new ways of innovating. Managing existing technology and non-technological innovation also counts. National and international policies, including intellectual property systems, need to adapt to this evolving environment and address the special needs of different countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs).

In 2013, ECOSOC organized its work for the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) around the theme, "Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals".

Given the significant potential of the 2013 AMR theme in promoting the global development agenda, ECOSOC could effectively use its role as a coordination body by placing science and technology and innovation-related issues high on national and international priorities.

Click below to download the Iguassu Falls Declaration:

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