At the invitation of the Secretariat of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD), Prof. Chunli Bai,President of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and of the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) attended the 23rd annual session of UNCSTD on June 11, 2020 via video-conferencing. Having listened to the introduction of the Report of Secretary-General on the theme of "Exploring Space Technologies for Sustainable Development and the Benefits of International Research Collaboration in This Context”, Prof. Bai made a keynote speech.
He pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the world realized more than ever before the importance of solidarity, international cooperation and the need of science and innovation in our joint fight against our common enemies. The pandemic has also caused the food shortage and food insecurity an even more serious one due to its disruption of normal farming and of the food supply chain. The situation at the food insecure countries is of a particular big concern.A good understanding of the global food situation and production will help the decision-makings of these countries, but they face the challenge of not being able to have transparent and verifiable information. CropWatch, a system developed by a team of CAS scientists can empower these countries with their own independent monitoring and analysis ability should they have a command of it. “CAS can help these countries that need it through the UNSCTD and ANSO cooperation partnership scheme by training, tech transfer, localization…”, he said.
Prof. Bai gave a brief introduction about ANSO, saying as a newly established International Science Organization, ANSO has an ambitious goal to leave its footprints in promoting and advancing the UN SDGs with a series of concrete S&T actions and has already achieved much success.
President Bai did not conclude without thanking the international community for their strong support rendered to CAS and China in the Chinese fight against the coronavirus. He also briefly touched upon the scientific and innovation solutions developed and given by the scientists of CAS to the Chinese battling and the global battling against the terrible pandemic. “With solidary and close international cooperation, we mankind will overcome the current challenges and others ahead of us,” he concluded.His words received enthusiastic responses from UNCTSD and representatives of various governments and scientific research institutions.
Dr. Shamika Sirimanne of UNCTAD, a major organizer of the event wrote to ANSO, saying, “Please thank Professor Bai for his inspiring speech and the offer of CropWatch products and services to developing countries. We are very proud that CSTD has become a platform for this kind of South-South Cooperation initiatives.”
Agriculture and food security are a major focues and long-term commitments of ANSO in the promotion of the world’s sustainable development. The Cooperation Programme for Agricultural Monitoring (CropWatch-ICP) is one of the ANSO initiatives in addressing the world food challenge.
* United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. The headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland. It is part of the UN Secretariat and also part of the United Nations Development Group.
* The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It holds an annual intergovernmental forum for discussion on timely and pertinent issues affecting science, technology and development. UNCTAD is responsible for the substantive servicing of the Commission.