UN to undertake science and technology strategy review for Iraq

29 August 2008

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) announced today that it will work with the Iraqi Government to map out a strategy for using science, technology and innovation to reconstruct its economy and accelerate its development.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) announced today that it will work with the Iraqi Government to map out a strategy for using science, technology and innovation to reconstruct its economy and accelerate its development.

The parties plan on performing a science, technology and innovation policy review (STIP) with a view to helping Iraq successfully function in a knowledge-based, globalized economy, UNCTAD said in a press release.

While Iraq’s efforts in science, technology and innovation were once among the best in the region, the troubled country’s intellectual infrastructure has been decimated in more recent years.

UNCTAD report estimates have put 80 per cent of the country’s universities and research institutions are not fully operational, and large numbers of Iraqi engineers and scientists have left the country.

The STIP, formalised in a ceremony to be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 1 September, will be prepared by experts working under the direction of UNCTAD and in partnership with Government officials, private-sector interests, academics and researchers.

“The major goal of the STIP will be to help Iraq ensure that its science, technology and innovation programmes become an instrument for supporting the reconstruction of Iraq, including through assisting the Government in stimulating the return of Iraqi scientists and engineers,” UNCTAD said.

A memorandum of understanding on the project will be signed at the 1 September ceremony in Geneva by Iraqi Minister of Science and Technology Raid Fahmi and UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi.

 

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