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(Geneva, Switzerland - July 2, 2013)

Remarks for H.E. Mr. Nestor Osorio, President of the Economic and Social Council at the Katerva Awards: Innovation for Sustainable Development

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be present here today for 2012 Katerva Awards Ceremony and convey to you the warmest greetings on behalf of ECOSOC. I am honoured to present the Awards. Let me also thank you for choosing the occasion of High Level Segment of the Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council to make these presentations.

First, I would like to congratulate the two winners, Ms. Gijsbert van de Wijdeven, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Bioneedle Technology Group and Ms. Chris Crowstaff, Trustee and Founder of Safe World Women for their outstanding achievement.

Innovation plays a pivotal and catalytic role in helping to bring change in every aspect of our lives. Its impact on policy can be far-reaching and it is a powerful tool for dealing with the many pressing challenges of today's world. Katerva's two award recipients have contributed to this in a very big way. Your innovations are a concrete demonstration of the integrated approach to solving problems and addressing their social, economic and environmental dimensions.

As you know, at this high-level segment, ECOSOC will consider ways in which science, technology, innovation and culture can help create more jobs, eradicate poverty and address the numerous challenges of sustainable development. While we recognize the important role that STI can play in improving our lives, there is no doubt that a well functioning STI ecosystem must include, inter alia, political stability and well-functioning institutions, an educated workforce, sound research and education infrastructure, to name a few.

In addition, a strong linkage between public and private innovation actors is critical. It is through partnerships that the true benefits of innovation can be scaled up. The collaboration of the private sector and other civil society actors is vital if we are make strides in furthering the Millennium Development Goals.

On this regard, the Millennium Development Strategy has had important achievements, representing a global commitment to poverty reduction and development that should be continued after 2015. However, the post-2015 development agenda will need a more structural, inclusive and systemic approach that can deliver on the transformative change needed to address current and emerging challenges and suggests credible strategies towards a secure, sustainable and inclusive pathway for global development. To this end, we need to work towards a renewed global partnership for development, which goes beyond its present framework to embrace the changing development landscape and enable transformative change. The mobilization of financial resources for development and the effective use of all of those resources will be central to this global partnership.

In closing, allow me to once again congratulate Ms. van de Wijdeven and Ms. Crowstaff for your hard work. The advances you have helped to create are of critical importance and deserve high recognition.

I would also like to take this opportunity to offer congratulations to Katerva as well. Awards and prizes are an important way to incentivize innovation and small investments can have a big impact. By offering these awards, you are making an important contribution to sustainable development.

This year ECOSOC was able to highlight to the international community the potential of STI and culture to foster sustainable development. We will continue to support the necessary ecosystem for STI through effective engagement and policy guidance.

I thank you.


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