UNITAR Executive Director participates at first G-STIC Conference and Celebrates UN Day in Brussels

25 October 2017, Brussels, Belgium – This week, UNITAR Executive Director, Nikhil Seth, participated at G-STIC, the Global Science, Technology and Innovation Conference Series in Brussels. The first in a series, the conference aimed to accelerate the development, dissemination and deployment of technological innovations to enable the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Nikhil Seth keynote speechFocused on integrated technological solutions that are good for the planet, people and the economy, G-STIC provided a unique chance to join the global technological innovation community, devoted to less carbon and resource-intensive economic development models.

By bringing together policy makers, entrepreneurs, students, innovators and private companies, G-STIC aimed to bridge the gap between technology and policy making.  Focusing on various key themes, including agroecology, urban mobility, sustainable water management and the circular economy, G-STIC gathered experts from all over the world, to share experience, discuss and build partnerships that will be fostered far beyond the conference walls.

Technology will change the way we work and the way we overcome global challenges. However, we must note that if technological progress is not well managed, then we risk exacerbating existing inequalities. G-STIC and the United Nations, are effective platforms to build awareness and mutual learning, in how to build effective partnerships to best manage and benefit from the opportunities presented by progress in science and technology for the SDGs.

CIFAL Flanders colleagues and UNITAR Executive Director, Nikhil SethOn Tuesday 24 October 2017, in the context of the G-STIC conference, UNITAR Executive Director, Nikhil Seth, delivered a keynote speech on the occasion of the celebration 72nd Anniversary of the United Nations.  The celebration was co-organised by UNITAR’s CIFAL Office in Flanders and VITO (the Flemish Institute for Technological Research), welcoming some 500 conference delegates and members of the public to the celebration.

Mr. Seth’s explained how the SDGs were adopted in 2015, and how they provide an action plan for implementing the UN Charter in the context of contemporary, modern day challenges.  Mr. Seth emphasised the important role of technology in implementing the SDGs, particularly in the areas of agriculture, energy systems, sustainable urban development and sustainable consumption and production.

Mr. Seth was welcomed on stage by Mr. Dirk Fransaer, Managing Director VITO, and joined by Mr. Yannick Glemarec, UN Women Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programming, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, UN Habitat Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Li Yong, UNIDO Director-General, and Minister Alexander De Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Postal Services.

Mr. Seth expressed his warm thanks to CIFAL Flanders for their excellent organization of the UN anniversary celebration, and wished a very Happy Birthday to the United Nations. Mr. Seth also expressed his appreciation and congratulations to VITO and its partners in their organization of such an important, timely and successful conference. UNITAR looks forward to supporting VITO and partners in their implementation of future conferences in the G-STIC series.

The importance of technology for achieving the SDGs - Keynote Address, Nikhil Seth, UNITAR Executive Director (PDF, 57 KB)

Photo 1: UNITAR Executive Director, Nikhil Seth, delivering a keynote sppech

Photo 2: CIFAL Flanders staff and UNITAR Executive Director (3rd from right)