The National Research Foundation features at the 9th STI Multistakeholder Forum for the SDGs held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York

The National Research Foundation features at the 9th STI Multistakeholder Forum for the SDGs held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York

The NRF’s Group Executive, speaks at the UNHQ in New York at the occasion of the 9th STI Multistakeholder Forum for the SDGs, held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York 08-10 May 2024.

The STI Forum is a significant platform that brings together a wide range of stakeholders from Member States, United Nations (UN) system, civil society, academia, private sector and various science and technology bodies to harness science, technology and innovation (STI) for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has become a platform for facilitating the establishment of networks, for improving the science-policy interface, and for promoting development, transfer, and dissemination of technologies for the SDGs.

The NRF’s GE, Dr Thandi Mgwebi spoke at the opening thematic session 1 held at the UN General Assembly, on the first day of the official programme of the Forum. The session was chaired by Her Excellency Inga Rhonda King, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations, Co-Chair of the 2024 STI Forum.

The session was on “More and more effective funding and capacity for SDG related research and innovation in all regions (SDG17)” which brought together, in a panel, key R&D funders and R&D actors to explore best practices and new ideas on how to better share knowledge and improve the current funding systems to strengthen international collaboration, build new partnerships, and explore ways to incentivize SDG-oriented research. The session explored the status of global research cooperation and funding – especially in the Global South – for the achievement of the SDGs. Dr Mgwebi shared successful NRF South-South and continental partnership models such as the SGCI, the AOSP and called for scaling up of investments in science to support transdisciplinary and engaged mission science that drive inclusive, intergenerational wellbeing for people and planetary systems. In her remarks Dr Mgwebi called for partnerships for development for South-South, North South collaboration, true friendships and innovative mechanisms for research incentives to steer national and regional research systems.

Other panelists included Mr. Tanaka Akihiko, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japan; Mr. Alejandro Adem, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada, and Chair, Global Research Council; Mr. Li Jinghai, President of the International Panel of Mesoscience, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and of TWAS, Research Fellow, Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences Process Engineering, China. Moderated by Moderator Mr. Carlos Henrique Brito Cruz OBE, Senior Vice-President, Research Networks, Elsevier; and Co-chair, Secretary-General’s Group of Ten High-level Representatives of Scientific Community, Civil Society and Private Sector. The session high-level respondents were Ms. Maria Leptin, President, European Research Council, Brussels, Belgium, Ms. Heide Hackman, former member of the Group of 10 High-level representative and now Director, Future Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa and Mr. Antonio Garcia Zaballos, Lead Specialist Telecommunications – Broadband Platform Coordinator, Inter-American Development Bank.

Earlier in the day, Dr Mgwebi participated in the STI Forum side event, The African Science Leadership meeting organised in conjunction with the UN Civil Society Conference in support of the UN Summit of the Future (taking place from 9-10 May, in Kenya), and as a preparatory event for the “Summit of the Future,” taking place in September 2024 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The African Science Leadership event stands as a pivotal platform for fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange, and innovation within the African scientific community. Speaking at the Science Leadership meeting, Dr Mgwebi, called for four key interventions for African science leadership:- a)Enhancing Research and Innovation Capacities; b) Promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) alignment; c) Facilitating intra-Africa collaboration and d) Building resilient partnerships.

She called for intensified efforts to address the security threats facing the global community today,  ranging from radical geopolitical tensions to climate change and ecosystem collapse, economic uncertainty and growing inequalities, extreme weather and disasters, food and water shortages, pandemic threats, AI-driven mis and disinformation.

Emanating from these engagements, plans are underway to discuss joint programming and modalities for collaboration with partners, in support of the Africa agenda and opening-up opportunities for the South African research community.

Related Posts