Document of Draft Resolution of the General Assembly of 194 Ministers, 2007:
- Ministerial Round Table
- Main line of Action 4 and addressing needs of Africa
- Coordination and monitoring of action to benefit Africa
Framework of the UN Science and Technology Cluster Activities:
- As convener of the UN Science and Technology Cluster, UNESCO will organize 2 meetings in 2008. The first meeting will take place in Addis in May 2008. The purpose of this meeting is to help gain a better coordination of the different partners’ actions, and how best the UN system can respond to the call by the AU Summit of Heads of States and Governments in the implementation of the CPA and the Summit’s decisions on science and technology. This meeting will help to: exchange information on activities in support of the implementation of the CPA, identify mutual cooperation/collaborations (resources, projects), outline the methods of work of the Cluster, and define roles of partners and stakeholders. The particular theme of this meeting is “Improving policy conditions and building mechanisms for innovation”. This meeting will also be used to thank the outgoing Commissioner and share her experiences, challenges and perspectives, in addition to welcome the newly appointed Commissioner and introduce him to the Un S&T Cluster.
A second meeting will be organized in November 2008. This meeting is foreseen to follow up on the decisions taken in May and strengthen the collaboration between the Cluster Agencies and AU/NEPAD.
- During the AMCOST AMCOST III, which took place in Mombasa from 12-16 November 2007, the UNESCO delegation held side meetings with several of the participants of the UN S&T Cluster.
- AU-UNESCO Meeting
The meeting discussed the elements of the UNESCO action plan for AU/NEPAD partnership for the implementation of the CPA. These elements are: Science Education, Science Policy and African Virtual Campus.
- UNESCO / AU / Other International Agencies
This meeting was convened by UNESCO immediately after the AMCOST session. The objective of the meeting was to establish a mechanism to coordinate support of the international agencies for the implementation of Africa’s CPA for science and technology. During the Addis Ababa Summit in January 2007, UNESCO was requested to assist AU/NEPAD in the implementation of the CPA. One of the actions which UNESCO proposes to use in providing assistance to AU/NEPAD is to mobilize international agencies both within and outside the UN to support the CPA. Participants, who are directly responsible for science programmes in Africa, included Director of UNESCO ROSTA, representatives of ICSU, UNECA, AU, NEPAD, AfDB and UNCCD. The meeting agreed to establish an electronic discussion forum to exchange ideas on activities of various agencies. The participants also agreed that the strategic documents of their respective organizations will be reviewed to identify common priorities and establish, using a matrix format, on who is doing what, the resources committed, what are the planned future activities with a view to revealing how synergies and complementarities can be maximized.
It was agreed that the Partner’s matrix will be launched immediately after the AMCOST and each organization will feed into it the programmes it undertakes or plans to undertake.
UNESCO is pleased to announce that it is now ready to launch the UN S&T Cluster website; in addition, a Partner matrix designed by UNESCO will be made available to the Cluster.
- AU-UNESCO Meeting
- Upon the request to UNESCO from A. Janneh, Executive Secretary of UNECA to support the joint initiative “Science with Africa, Addis, March 2008” being organized by UNECA, and the AUC, UNESCO hosted a briefing session at UNESCO on the 17 December 2007. This briefing session gathered the African Ambassadors to UNESCO, the stakeholders of the scientific cooperation between Africa and France, as well as the French Research & Development community.
UNESCO participated in the “Science with Africa Conference” co-hosted by the AUC and ECA in March 2008. An overview of UNESCO’s policies, concepts and objectives of its science programs in Africa were presented. The conference focused on methodologies for improving the level of participation by African-based scientists and science-based organizations in international collaborative R&D Projects. Topics included workshops on Science and Innovation themes (such as Energy, Transport/Space Technology, ICT, Health, Life Sciences, Agriculture/Climate Change), proposal preparation, partnering, IP, financing and dissemination, among others. One of the primary aims was to create new partnerships and to facilitate the cooperation between and among African based scientists.
- During the “Science with Africa Conference” in Addis, the UNESCO Delegation held side meetings: independently and together with ECA and AUC Officials, and with different stakeholders present. These meetings were convened at the UNESCO Office in Addis.
The objective was to decide on the date and venue of the next UN S&T Cluster meeting. UNESCO, as the convener of the Cluster proposed to hold the meeting in Addis in April. Agenda items and logistics of the organization of the meeting were discussed. The foreseen Cluster meeting will aim to enhance coordination in the different Agencies efforts towards assisting the AU/NEPAD in the implementation of the CPA and identify activities for collaborations.
Representatives of the Cluster convener and vice convener met to discuss future modalities of work between the representatives in order to avoid duplication. Communication and dialogue were important in establishing methods of work. A meeting was also convened between the Executive Secretary of ECA and the UNESCO Delegation. It was unanimously agreed that UNESCO-ECA will work together with the AUC to ensure follow up to the “Science with Africa Conference”.
Several bilateral meetings were organized between UNESCO and AUC colleagues. These meetings were used to discuss: common activities between the organizations, ways of collaborating/cooperating, synergies, and future methods of work. Among the themes for future collaborations included: the African Virtual Campus and the science, technology, innovation policy initiative. Intense discussions on the latter two subjects followed and resulted in the following: the recognition of the African Virtual Campus as a means of promoting science and technology education in Africa and the role of UNESCO in developing STI policy formulation in Africa. It was unanimously decided that UNESCO and the AUC will develop a partnership in this respect.
The AUC also made known its intention of setting up the African Science and Technology Cluster in order to coordinate all efforts in the implementation of the CPA. The AUC requested UNESCO to assist them in drawing up the draft TOR.