Global Science and Technology Consortium Takes Shape

The Group of 77 (G77) and Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (TWNSO) have announced the transformation of TWNSO into the Consortium of Science, Technology and Innovation for the South (COSTIS).

Angra dos Reis, 3 September.

The G77, the largest network of member states in the United Nations devoted to developing world issues, and TWNSO, an international association of developing world scientific institutions that focuses on issues related to sustainable development, have joined forces to create the 'Consortium on Science, Technology and Innovation for the South' (COSTIS). The announcement was made at a meeting of the G77 Ministers of Science and Technology, which took place in Angra dos Reis, Brazil. The G77 meeting was held in conjunction with TWAS's 10th General Conference and TWNSO's 9th General Assembly.

G77 Meeting, Podium"The G77 has recognized the critical importance of science and technology in efforts to alleviate poverty and promote economic development for some time," says Dumisani Kumalo, president of the G77 and South Africa's representative to the United Nations. "In fact, the creation of COSTIS represents the successful culmination of a six-year process that began in Havana, Cuba, in 2000 at the first South Summit, which stressed the importance of science and technology in sustainable development. We are indeed delighted to see the creation of COSTIS, which will play an instrumental role in making science, technology and innovation an integral part of our organization."

"This is a win-win situation for TWNSO and G77," say C.N.R. Rao, president of both TWNSO and TWAS. "It will enable G77 to have direct access to a network of scientific institutions that are responsible for some of the best scientific research in the developing world. At the same time, it will allow TWNSO to work directly with the highest levels of government on scientific issues for addressing critical social and economic problems in the South. I believe that the synergism created by this partnership, which represents a unique blend of political power and technical know-how, could have a significant impact on poverty elimination and economic development efforts across the South." TWNSO plans to change its name to COSTIS and develop new statutes and bylaws.

The consortium will seek to promote scientific capacity building through scientific exchange and networking. It will also encourage the sharing of innovative experiences in the use of science and technology to address critical concerns and, more generally, seek to better integrate the scientific and policy communities through both South-South and South-North cooperation.

"The challenge for developing countries," says Mosibudi Mangena, South Africa's minister of science and technology, "is to position our economies on a path for sustainable growth that will make them preferred destinations for investments in research and development. There is a wealth of knowledge and information on international cooperation in science and technology that we can share among us," he adds. "We need to translate our experiences with a view of empowering our societies. This is the least that our people expect of us, and the Consortium for Science, Technology and Innovation that we are launching today."

Published: 07 Sep 2006

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