Meeting on World Conference on
Dhaka (Bangladesh), 21 April 1999
Centre for Science and Technology
of the Non-aligned and
Other Developing Countries (NAM) Meeting
in association with the Bangladesh Ministry of Science and Technology
globalisation and science
2. Universal nature
for socio-economic development
context of Science
that mankind in general, and the people of the developing economies in
particular, are beset with multifarious challenges and barriers in meeting goals of
socio-economic development, which in the upcoming millennium are bound to become all the
more acute and decisive;
Acknowledging that science,
as an instrument of change, is the most important tool for value addition to
resources, which in turn is indispensable for growth and prosperity;
scientific and technological knowledge-based interventions will be the most dominant
factor in mitigating resource constraints, both physical and financial, to ensure
sustainable development and improved quality of life;
Emphasizing that knowledge
is the only heritage and common wealth of mankind and, therefore, unhindered access to
scientific and technological knowledge should be recognised as an inalienable fundamental
Recalling that the
development of an appropriate and adequate R&D base of a developing country is often
rendered difficult by various impediments including those encountered in some of the
prevailing regulatory regimes, both regional and international, like the Intellectual
Property Regime (IPR), despite the best intentions of the concerned stakeholders;
Apprehending that the
barriers to unencumbered access to scientific knowledge and technologies, unless removed
through concerted interventions and cooperation, are destined to widen the prevailing
socio-economic disparities within and among nations;
Concerned that, in spite
of assurances from the international community in different fora such as tile United
Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development in 1979 and the
resulting Vienna Programme of Action on Science and Technology for Development, the
developing countries are yet to experience any impact of significance;
And whereas the
World Conference of Science for the Twenty-first Century : a New Commitment",
to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from 26 June to I July, 1999, offers an opportunity to
identity and assess problems, challenges and opportunities for framing an Action Programme
on cooperation among various nations;
Now, therefore, the
countries represented at the present Meeting of the Centre for Science and Technology of
the Non-aligned and Other Developing Countries have adopted the 'Dhaka Communiqué,
which is a manifestation of the common stand for consideration at the forthcoming World
Conference on Science.
The Dhaka Communiqué resolves as follows:
1. Economic globalisation and science
The end of the era of the Cold War
should signal the dawn of prosperity for mankind through peaceful coexistence and urge to
share the global resources.
The developing countries representing the majority
of the world population have only a marginal percentage of the world's research and
development capacity. Therefore, the issue of establishing global equity and equality with
science and technology (S&T) as the dominant determinant has to be given serious
The success of economic globalisation will largely
depend on the enabling measures for improving the S&T base of the developing
countries. To this end, national support and international cooperation for
capacity-building should be given due impetus.
Globalisation without sharing of scientific
knowledge may bring in its wake wide-scale socio-economic destabilisation. Therefore,
developed countries have a moral and ethical responsibility to help developing ones build
their S&T infrastructure, including human resources development.
Globalisation will also be successful only if the
developing countries have free access to markets of other counties and are not subjected
to different barriers in the garb of various standards including labour standards.
2. Universal nature of science
The developed and developing worlds have a common stake in the future
this planet earth, especially as the vast majority of the population live in the
developing world and if they are denied access to S&T, then over-dependence on the
developed world could create chaos and disharmony. The need for a symmetrical relationship
and equal opportunities for nations at the different levels of scientific and
technological development is thus overwhelming.
The dialogues and the pronouncements made in conferences and other
international fora in the past have failed to achieve the targets of equitable
development It is, therefore, imperative that a pragmatic and time-bound Action
Plan be developed and implemented for bridging the gap between countries.
3. Science for
Sincere endeavours should be made to harness the benefits of S&T
for improving the living condition of the multitude of impoverished down-trodden
populations in the developing countries.
Technologies relevant to rational and optimal use of resources for
sustainable development should be evolved and made available to all nations, Developing
countries lack scientific and technological capabilities for optimising benefits from
resources, thereby making it difficult for them to prosper. The related technologies
should be made available to facilitate conservation and rational use of global
State-of-the-art technologies should be made available to the
developing countries to supplement their traditional knowledge. The developing countries
should pay due attention to preservation, protection and promotion of indigenous and other
forms of knowledge base.
Transfer of technology from the developed to the developing world and
within the developing world should be augmented and accelerated.
4. International cooperation
a) strengthening the scientific and technological capacities of the
b) strengthening the international scientific and technological
cooperation among nations;
c) strengthening the role of the United Nations system in the field of
S&T and the provision of increased financial resources; and
d) ensuring an unhindered flow of information, exchange of
experience/and expertise on scientific and technological matters.
a) Establishing adequate linkages between national development and
S&T. Appropriate national policy should be implemented to facilitate such linkages and
to build a matching scientific and technological capacity,
b) Strengthening of international cooperation in facilitating
capacity-building in the fields of S&T and in promoting equitable distribution of
world production and resources;
c) Adoption of special measures in the field of S&T for
disaster-prone areas, island and land-locked countries.
d) Allocation of adequate financial resources for the development of
S&T for the developing countries is to be made. The international development
financing institutions such as the World Bank, Regional ones such as the Asian Development
Bank, the United Nations agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
and UNESCO should join hands to assist the developing countries to build S&T
infrastructure, which will also lead to reversing the brain drain of S&T manpower.
Until then the developing countries should be suitably compensated by the receiving
countries for their loss.
(e) It is recalled that the Vienna Programme of Action of 1979
envisaged establishment of a fund for S&T which is yet to be materialized. The need
for creation of such a Fund has become all the more imperative under the changed
circumstances. It is, therefore, proposed that an effective Fund may be created without
delay specially for the developing countries through voluntary contribution.
5. Social context of
S&T should be considered as the key to sustainable development of
all countries of the world.
To redress the prevailing gender inequality, men and women should
have equal opportunity in participatory development.
There is a felt need for a sustainable production and consumption
pattern specially on the part of the developed world so as to reduce negative social and
In all endeavours of development the environmental and ecological
balance as well as preservation and conservation of biodiversity must be taken into
account Countries responsible for large-scale environmental degradation through excessive
emission of carbon and other pollutants should be liable to. pay for the damage caused to
the global environment.
The nations adopting the Dhaka Communiqué urge the world community in
general, and the World Conference on Science in particular, to take due cognisance of the
realities of the developing countries. Our aim for the next millennium is to leave our
next generations with a planet earth at least as friendly as it has been to us for so
long. We want the future generation to prosper as a global village where all facets of
human activities will be linked together by a common determinant, namely, scientific and
technological knowledge and the urge to share the resources equitably.
We, therefore, hope that the outcome of the forthcoming World
Conference on Science will come up with a pragmatic and time-bound Action Plan and that
the United Nations will convene a 'World Millennium Science Summit' to facilitate
implementation of the Action Plan.