UNESCO Cambodia supports the drafting of the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation
On January 31st 2013, the National Committee on Science and Technology (NCOST) and UNESCO celebrated the 1st National Consultative workshop on drafting the National Policy on Science and Technology (NPSTI). Up to 70 participants from 20 line-organization and Ministries joined the consultation session and expressed their vision regarding the development of the NPSTI for Cambodia discussing on the already circulated 1st draft of the document.
The UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh works towards fostering policies and capacity-building in science, technology and innovation for sustainable development. “Science, technology and innovation are clearly recognized as key to attaining sustainable development and understanding of the importance of the environment which is vital for current and future human wellbeing” said Ms. Anne Lemaistre, UNESCO Representative in Cambodia. This is the reason why UNESCO Phnom Penh is assisting the Royal Government of Cambodia in formulating the National Science, Technology and Innovation policy as part of UNESCO Jakarta’s regional flagship programme “COMprehensive Programme to Enhance Technology, Engineering and ScieNCE Education” (COMPETENCE) in Asia.
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 cannot be competitive without an 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. Furthermore, H.E. Chea Sieng Hong explained that “ensuring equitable and sustainable economic growth requires that Cambodia has an ability to acquire and utilize knowledge and innovation based on science and technology”. Mr. Chin Chharom, Representative of the National Expert Team in charge of drafting the document, claimed “being ‘science literate’ will no longer be just an advantage but an absolute necessity”; in this sense, Mr. Santosh Khatri, Education Programme Specialist at UNESCO Phnom Penh, stated the importance of the human dimension towards Cambodian development “human resource is the key, investment in education and training must be addressed as a foundation for the industrial development”.
The group discussions, presentations and Q&A lead into a constructive revision of the 1st draft of the NPSTI raising the need for a strong cooperation between the different institutions. The consultation process will be open for further comments during the coming months before the final draft is sent to the Council of Ministers for consideration later this year.