Updated December 8, 2004
of Meetings and other Documents in
Seminar on Financing and Priorities for Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean
This seminar was organized by the IDB, OAS, ECLAC, and CONCYTEC (National Council on Science and Technology of Peru) and was held on November 10, 2004 at the headquarters of the Andean Community. The purpose of the Seminar was to draw attention to the development of Science and Technology as a matter of public policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Particular attention was paid to the importance of technology and innovation on the national economic arena and on the public and political agenda.
The morning session focused on international standards and strategies for investment in science and technology, the status of the region with respect to science, technology and innovation, the financing and performance of science and technology, and the adequacy of institutional and policy frameworks to support innovation. The afternoon session featured two panels; the first, a panel of ministers of finance and planning, the second, a panel on industry and academic perspectives. During the Seminar, speakers referred to various topics, of which the following observations must be mentioned:
On this occasion, there were also talks about different country experiences and strategies regarding science, technology, and competitiveness. The event was also attended by distinguished academics, ministers, economics and planning authorities, science and technology ministers, officials and experts, representatives from the private sector as well as officials from international organizations like the OECD and ECLAC.
Both the IDB representative, Carlos Jarque and OAS representative, Alfonso Quiñones, addressed the importance of the Summit of the Americas and its documents which contain substantive declarations regarding Science and Technology. For the implementation of these commitments, there needs to be political will, vision, and financial resources from the public and private sector, and international organizations.
First Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Science and Technology
The First Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Science and Technology was held on November 11-12, 2004, in Lima, Peru. The meeting began with welcome remarks by Ambassador Luigi R. Einaudi, Acting Secretary General of the Organization of American States and Ambassador Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru. In his speech, the Acting Secretary General of the OAS addressed the importance of linking this meeting with the Summit Process. He also mentioned the contributions of the Ministers and High Authorities of Science and Technology in designing the agenda for science and technology in the upcoming years. These activities will afterwards need the support of the officials in the Fourth Summit of the Americas, which will take place in Argentina, in November 2005.
During the meeting, the Ministers analyzed the advances gained and upcoming challenges in science and technology. Likewise, the representatives of the governments deliberated over national policies on science, technology and innovation for development as well as hemispheric cooperation in this area. There was also a session where government representatives had the opportunity to hear recommendations from representatives of civil society from different countries in the hemisphere. At the end of the meeting, the Ministers and High Authorities approved the Lima Declaration and Plan of Action, which reflects the agreements reached of which the following should be stressed: the agreement to advance the incorporation of science, technology, engineering, innovation, and education as a dynamic principal factor in the economic and social development of the countries of the hemisphere.
In the Lima Declaration, the Ministers and High Authorities made the commitment to promote a sustained growth of investment in science, technology, engineering, and innovation integrated with economic policies. The commitment was also made to have, by 2007, all Member States adopt effective national policies regarding science, technology, engineering, and innovation that are clearly integrated into economic and social policies. Likewise, the officials showed their support for improving science education, fostering the expansion of human and institutional capacities and infrastructure, and establishing national systems of innovation, oriented towards improving the competitiveness of the private and public productive sector. Moreover, the Ministers made a commitment to promote participation and responsibility shared by the state, civil society and political society; with the purpose of incorporating science, technology, and innovation into the economic policies of the nations. The Lima Declaration also acknowledges the importance of linking this process with the preparatory measures for the Fourth Summit of the Americas. In addition, it promotes the application of science, technology, engineering and innovation as a way to increase social inclusion, reduce poverty, and consolidate democracy in the countries of the region.
The Plan of Action of Lima includes fifteen concrete hemispheric initiatives that have the objective of development and implementation of the topics of common interest for all the Member States. These initiatives and proposed policies for science and technology are directed at promoting the general objectives established in the Declaration, acknowledging the need for the creation of employment in order to confront poverty and to strengthen democratic governance.
Follow Up to Science and Technology Mandates
The Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology held a special meeting on May 5-9 in Lima, Peru to discuss plans for: promoting science and technology for development; accessing additional funds for science and technology projects; convening a ministerial-level meeting; and linking science and technology issues to Summit of the Americas initiatives. Eighteen countries representatives participated in the meeting as well as officials of the OAS Office of Science and Technology and the OAS Agency for Inter-American Cooperation and Development.
In a concluding document, delegates noted the importance of science and technology in meeting hemispheric goals of development. On financing, they discussed 26 project profiles and proposed mechanisms for closer participation in the evaluation of projects funded through the OAS. Plans were laid to hold the Fourth Ordinary Meeting of COMCYT in the first trimester of 2004 and the First Hemispheric Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Science and Technology in the last trimester of 2004. A commitment was also made to strengthen cooperation with the Inter-American Commission on Education. Delegates proposed that science and technology, as a complement to the social agenda, be included as a subject of discussion at the Special Summit to be held in Mexico this year. At the 2004 ministerial meeting they plan to discuss how to include science and technology issues in the Plan of Action for the 2005 Summit of the Americas.
For more information on this meeting, see www.oas.org under the science and technology section.
Updated December 8, 2004