OECD Seoul Confab to Focus on Sustainable Development

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), November 15, 2000 | Go to article overview

OECD Seoul Confab to Focus on Sustainable Development


More than 150 science and technology policymakers and experts from some 40 countries and international organizations are here in Seoul to discuss ways of strengthening global cooperation for sustainable development.

Today they will begin the three-day OECD Conference on International Scientific and Technological Cooperation for Sustainable Development at the Inter-Continental Hotel in southern Seoul.

The conference is organized jointly by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Korean government.

The international forum will be chaired by OECD Deputy Secretary- General Herwig Schlogl. There will also be participants such as the British Minister of Science and Technology, Lord Sainsbury; China's Vice-Minister of Science and Technology, Song Dema; and Parry Norling, director of DuPont of the United States.

In addition, those taking part include Park Won-hoon, former president of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST); Yoichi Kaya, professor of Keio University in Japan; Rajendra Shende of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP); Lauritz Holm-Nielsen of the World Bank; Karin Refsnes, director of the Research Council of Norway; and Philippe Bergeron, director of the Regional Institute for Environmental Technology in Singapore.

South Korean Minister of Science and Technology Seo Jung-uck will deliver an opening speech to the conference.

``The conference aims to identify barriers to cooperation and to propose recommendations for international science and technology cooperation, so as to respond to global environmental problems while addressing the needs of developing countries,'' said Minister Seo and OECD Deputy Secretary-General Schlogl in an earlier announcement regarding the conference.

The objective of the Seoul conference is to discuss ways to promote and facilitate international collaboration in the development and diffusion of environmental technologies, particularly cleaner technologies, between developed and developing countries.

To this end, the conference is designed to identify barriers impeding effective cooperation, and to propose recommendations to enhance international science and technology cooperation involving both the public and private sectors. This is being done as a move to respond to global environmental problems, while meeting the needs of developing countries.

There is a growing need for increased and effective international scientific and technological cooperation, as one major method of general technology and knowledge transfers.

Traditionally, technology diffused to the developing countries through commercial transactions of industrial plants, which often turned out to be inappropriate, both for the needs of the developing countries and for enhancing their capacity for technological upgrading.

There are still barriers to accessing information on appropriate technologies. The required skills and infrastructure are often not available, and suitable funding mechanisms to develop appropriate cleaner technologies remain inadequate.

These barriers need to be analyzed and addressed, while ways of effective cooperation between developed and developing countries, including public and private sector partnerships, need to be explored.

The current international -- bilateral and multilateral -- science and technology cooperation programs need to be assessed from the perspective of developing countries' needs. Effective practices in international cooperation will have to be established.

``The conference here in Seoul is designed to help the international community set the framework for science and technological cooperation between advanced economies and developing countries,'' said Moon You-hyun, a director general of the Science-Technology Ministry.

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