DOST DOST Undersecretary Buendia moderates a session while serving as Vice Chair for Asia Pacific at the twenty-seventh session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development

DOST exec elected Vice Chair for Asia Pacific at UN Commission on Science and Technology for Dev’t

April 27, 2024 People's Tonight 170 views

For its 27th session

DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Leah J. Buendia, representing the Philippines, was elected as Vice Chair for the Asia Pacific Group of the United Nations (UN) Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) during its twenty-seventh session held on April 15-19, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The CSTD, an intergovernmental forum, serves as the United Nations’ focal organization for science, technology, and innovation (STI) for development. It critically analyzes and discusses pressing issues in STI and its potential contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Commission is comprised of five (5) regional groups with 43 Member States, including nine (9) Member States under the Asia Pacific Group.

At this year’s session, the CSTD deliberated on global cooperation in science, technology, and innovation for development. DOST Undersecretary Buendia, in delivering the Philippine Statement, shared that the Philippines co-organized, along with the United States of America and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Workshop on Harnessing STI for Disaster Risk Reduction in Metro Manila, Philippines, held from February 29 to March 1, 2024. Additionally, discussions centered on the theme of data for development, with DOST Undersecretary Buendia highlighting the Philippines’ use of data for disaster risk reduction, healthcare, medicine, and satellite data for environmental monitoring.

The CSTD annual sessions also contribute to the 2024 theme of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development and the implementation of its 2023 Ministerial Declaration. For 2024, the said platforms focused on Sustainable Development Goals 1 on poverty eradication, 2 on zero hunger, 13 on climate action, 16 on peace, justice, and strong institutions, and 17 on partnerships for the Goals. During the Special Ministerial Segment at the Ministerial Roundtable on this topic, DOST Undersecretary Buendia highlighted the Philippines’ STI responses such as the DOST’s Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) program, Malnutrition Reduction Program, Enhanced Nutribun, and the creation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger.

In a call to action, DOST Undersecretary Buendia said “We need to build trust and we can only do that if we have fair and just mechanisms. Let us continue helping each other, especially the developing countries and the vulnerable sectors”.

As the Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Group, DOST Undersecretary Buendia chaired and moderated a session on the presentation of updates of the national science, technology, and innovation policy reviews conducted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. In this role, the Philippines is part of the Bureau, comprising the elected officers of the Commission. The Bureau, consisting of one (1) chair (rotating among regional groups each year) and four (4) vice chairs, is responsible for coordinating decision-making points with the members of their respective regional groups. It also facilitates discussions on future courses of action and priority themes before presenting them to the rest of the Members. By Karen Lou Mabagos, ITCU, DOST