22.04.2013 -

UNESCO Cambodia supports the Drafting of the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation

@UNESCO/Chanthul Suos – Participants of the the 2nd National Consultative workshop on drafting the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (NPSTI)

On April 5th 2013, the National Committee on Science and Technology (NCOST) organized the 2nd National Consultative workshop on drafting the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (NPSTI).

100 participants from 20 line-Ministries, NGOs, civil society and private sector participated and shared their visions for the NPSTI. The national consultation is significant for Cambodia in order to “identify the key areas to make this policy reflect all the stakeholders’ needs,” Mr. Some Nara, Deputy Director General of Industry and Project Coordinator stated at the opening ceremony.

The UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh assists the Royal Government of Cambodia in formulating the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (NPSTI) policy as part of UNESCO Jakarta’s regional flagship programme “COMprehensive Programme to Enhance Technology, Engineering and ScieNCE Education” (COMPETENCE) in Asia. In addition, experts from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) have been engaged in order to provide recommendations based on both the best practices identified in the international arena, as well as on the main priorities under the Cambodian context.

During the opening remarks H.E. Chea Sieng Hong, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME) and Cum-National COST Chair said, “a Nation will not be able to compete in the world without a strategy for science, technology and innovation,” clearly identifying the need to develop Cambodia’s National policy to prepare the country for its engagement with the ASEAN in 2015.

The draft policy text identifies five strategies to be followed including plans for the human resources, infrastructure and institutional development. The establishment of a Ministry for STI and encouraging research, among others. Mr. Santosh Khatri, Education Programme Specialist at UNESCO Phnom Penh, noted that “this policy drafting process has followed an inclusive approach, in which the NCOST has made efforts to ensure  inclusion of all the key ministries and stakeholders.”  In fact, all the stakeholders agreed on the urgent need to set a framework to encompass and coordinate all efforts in Cambodia in terms of S&T, such as the current drafting of the NPSTI, the Master Plan on S&T and the ICT Master Plan. There is also a common understanding on the relevance of S&T as a driver for Cambodia’s development, as well as on the vital importance of the human resource development through science education. The experts from AIT pointed out the “development of the human and social capital; institutional infrastructure and the innovation capacity of the country” as the three pillars for the Cambodian S&T strategy.

The morning presentations were followed by an active panel discussion in the afternoon, chaired by the NCOST’s National Expert Team which led to constructive revision of the draft text.  The final draft of the policy will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for endorsement in the coming months.  

For more information, please contact Ms. Jamie Lee, UNESCO Communication and Information Unit, at: hj.lee(at)unesco.org

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