Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
It gives me great pleasure to address you, on behalf of the International Science Council, at the opening of this very first First World Science and Technology Development Forum with the theme "Science, Technology and Development".
As we harness our expertise and energy across the scientific community worldwide, it is appropriate to recognise the important role of the Forum: beyond a conference and an opportunity to share ideas, the Forum’s main objective, that is, of building a platform to enable better cooperation and exchanges in relation to science and technology development, is an important and timely initiative.
The objective strongly complements the activities of the International Science Council: a body that comprises scientific organizations from over 140 countries and more than 40 international scientific unions and networks across the natural, social, and behavioural sciences.
The vision of the Council is of science as a global public good, and the ISC works on behalf of and with the global scientific community to catalyse and convene international scientific
and to provide advice and influence on major issues of concern to science and society.
The ISC cannot be effective without strong engagement by its members, and more broadly by members of the global science community. Thus, the aim of the Forum, of building relationships that not only include the scientific community, but which extend beyond it to include the business and industrial sectors, is a step that we must applaud.
Cooperation within the science community is essential to our success in addressing the challenges set out in the Sustainable Goals. But as we know, that is not enough: we can only achieve real success by engaging with these Goals in a truly multi- and trans-disciplinary way: that is, through partnerships, with civil society and with the industrial and business sectors. And this is where the value of the Forum is most evident: in creating the conditions under which such ideas and insights can germinate and grow; in allowing the range of sectors of society to understand the roles that each plays, and in this way to build a common understanding of the nature of the problems we are confronted with, and to arrive at optimal solutions and strategies for their solution.
The vision of the International Science Council is of science as a global public good: that is, a benefit that is not excludable, nor rivalrous in nature. The benefits of global public goods must reach across space and time, and across population groups. Thus, joint efforts of the kind promoted by this Forum are strongly aligned with the vision of the ISC and are an essential component of the process of identifying pathways to sustainable living.
The Council has an equally vital role at the interface with the policymaking community. We have a major role to play in engaging with policymakers to provide the scientific dimension to global challenges, so that the policies are developed and implemented from a sound scientific base, and are such as to move societies along these pathways effectively.
The International Science Council engages in much its work through partnerships forged with organisations that share its values and goals. I congratulate the three organizations who have brought this Forum to reality – the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) (an ISC member), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) – and wish the Forum great success. May this be the first in a regular series of such engagements.
WORLD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FORUM