High Priority Asked for Projects to Increase Capabilities for Dealing with Natural Disasters

Article excerpt

High priority asked for projects to increase capabilities for dealing with natural disasters

PRINCIPAL CONCERNS ADDRESSED by the Intergovernmental Committee on Science and Technology for Development at its ninth session (New York, 27 July-7 August) were the application of science and technology to the study, prevention, monitoring and combating of drought, desertification and other natural disasters, and the impact of new and emerging areas of science and technology on the development of developing countries.

The Committee, open to participation by all United Nations Member States, has the basic objective of ensuring implementation by the United Nations system of the 1979 Vienna Programme of Action on Science and Technology for Development. Since its establishment in 1979, it has met annually, but will meet biennially in future.

The Committee called on Governments and the Centre for Science and Technology for Development--in co-operation with the United Nations Fund for Science and Technology for Development and other relevant United Nations organizations--to give high priority to the preparation of programmes and projects designed to enhance endogenous capabilities (those growing from within) in science and technology in dealing with drought and desertification and other natural disasters in a number of fields.

Those fields are: disseminating information and advice that would assist and support Governments in the control of drought and desertification; promoting exchanges of scientists and technologists, sharing of experience and encouraging participation in meetings and conferences; and promoting and formulating scientific research, technological development, and training programmers aimed at filling gaps in the knowledge of desertification control.

Promoting greater co-operation

Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar was asked to take measures to facilitate the financing of such programmes and projects from the United Nations Fund for Science and Technology for Development and from appropriate United Nations agencies. He was also asked to examine possibilities for promoting greater co-operation between Member States and within the United Nations system in the application of new techniques to combat drought and desertification.

On the subject of the impact of new and emerging areas of science and technology on the development of developing countries, the Committee asked the Centre for Science and Technology for Development to identify, prepare and elaborate new co-operative programmes and projects, and further develop existing ones, aimed at endogenous capacity-building in new and emerging areas of science and technology. …