Turkey will host the 4th UN Least Developed Countries Conference will be held on May 9th-13th in Istanbul. In order to provide an input to this main conference, the Preparatory Event for the 4th UN Conference on the LDCs entitled “Science, Technology and Innovation: Setting Priorities, Shaping and Implementing Policies for LDCs” was held by TUBITAK and UNIDO on February 7th and 8th, 2011 in Istanbul.
The experts from international organizations such as UNESCO, European Commission, European Investment Bank and World Bank, the international researchers specialized on the development studies, the representatives from the related institutions and ministries of LDCs have attended the event and discussed the science, technology and innovation policies of the 48 LDCs.
Prof. Mehmet Aydın, Minister of State responsible for science and technology, delivered the opening speech of the event and Turkey’s progress in Science, Technology and Innovation has been highlighted. It was also noted by the minister that the experiences and dynamism of Turkey that can be a best practice for the sustainable development of the LDCs. Furthermore, Aydın argued that poverty eradication requires a broad approach and focusing on economic aspects does not suffice any more in order to achieve the international development goals.
In his statement, Minister Aydın indicated that the advancement of countries with a substantial economical basis is highly dependent on the existence of dynamic institutions and structures that positively affect the innovation and to consistently invest in the generation of scientific knowledge, to put forward the legal framework and infrastructure, to mobilize public funds and to stimulate the private sector in order to promote the country-wide implementation of scientific and technological research activities.
Having mentioned the studies that have been carried out within that framework in Turkey, Aydın emphasized Turkey’s initiative towards the LDCs indicating Turkey’s awareness of the close link between science and technology and sustainable development.
In the context of the international cooperation, UNIDO Policymaking Organs Secretariat Director Ms. Fatou Haidara indicated that UNIDO has a long lasting cooperation with Turkey and Turkey decided to transform the field office established in 1967 to a UNIDO Centre in 2010 and to make regional cooperation studies.
Within this framework, Haidara stated that a series of international training programmes have been organized in cooperation with TİKA. Also, she argued that despite the improvements that were witnessed in the LDCs in the last decade, the LDCs are still behind the goals decided in the areas of economy and social development. Haidara, drawing attention to the obstacles against LDCs’ accessing to technology and information in addition to the insufficiency of physical infrastructure, stated that the number of researchers per million in the LDCs is 95,4 in 2010, while 4000 in the OECD countries. In relation to this, she emphasized the importance of science and technology for development and stated that the developments in this area will break this vicious cycle.
The Director of UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), Ambassador Lakshimi PURI pointed out that the technology transfer to the LDCs could not be realized. In addition, Puri stated that the international cooperation may play a significant role for the scientific and technological improvement of LDCs and as the development partners, the experiences of the countries like Turkey may be beneficial in this framework. Moreover, Puri has emphasized the national responsibility and the main responsibility belongs to the LDCs, therefore t...