Documents and Videos of the October 12th, 1999 Meeting of the 


Hall of the Americas, Organization of American States

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Science and Technology

Dr. Sitoo Mukerji, Director of the OAS' Office of Science and Technology made a brief presentation about the activities of the Office of Science and Technology as a follow-up to the Plan of Action approved in the Summit of the Americas held in Santiago on April 19, 1998.

The presentation covered the role of science and technology in areas in addition to economic integration, free trade and sustainable development.

The Plan of Action agreed:

To continue the implementation of the Cartagena Declaration and Plan of Action emanated from the meeting of Ministers Responsible for Science and Technology of the Hemisphere, March 29, 1996. The Office of Science and Technology is working in the following lines of action, as expressed in the aforementioned documents:

1. Continue cooperation with other hemispheric programs in science and technology, and in such effort, the Office has been collaborating with the following institutions: CYTED, UNESCO, PAHO, IDB, IDRC, INTERCIENCIA, etc.

2. Maintain the logistical support to MERCOCYT initiative to monitor and assist in the implementation of all ministerial recommendations. The Office performs the functions of Technical Secretariat and support in all the MERCOCYT meetings.

3. To Develop mechanisms to improve transfer technology and technical assistance to strengthen hemispheric cooperation in science and technology by: developing the scientific and technological capacity in member countries, promoting the interface between science and technology with social and sustainable development, innovation systems including government and private sectors, research and development with productive sectors, and development and application of information technologies.

These actions have become the basis of the Inter-American Program on Science and Technology, which constitutes the framework for the Office of Science and Technology.

1.  To apply science and technology to prevent and mitigate natural disasters such as: hurricanes, floods, "El Niņo" phenomenon, etc. There is a project which is being executed during this year on the strengthening of the network of institutions performing studies on "El Niņo".

2.  To support data collection in science and technology indicators in conjunction with CYTED and UNESCO to monitor the stage of development and needs in member States to design effective models to transfer technology and knowledge to the poor. The governments have indicated that poverty eradication is a critical component of its social agenda. The Office of Science and Technology is in the process of developing national policy programs for poverty eradication, considering that science and technology development is critical to achieve economic and social development. The Office is working currently on issues such as: Foresight Program-Innovation Policy; clean technologies for small and medium enterprises; and Metrology, Quality, and Standards.

3.  To foster alliances and linkages with different sectors of society to promote micro- small and medium size enterprises. These initiatives will involve the informal sector. All these are included in the Cartagena Plan of Action as well as the Inter-American Program on Science and Technology (PRICYT).

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