The Consultative Committee on Scientific and Technological Development and Technological Innovation ‎‎(ESTIC) was established pursuant to the Resolution 225 (XXI), dated 11 May 2001, adopted by the United ‎Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) during its 21st ministerial session ‎‎(10-11 May 2001). The Resolution was ratified by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and ‎stated that the Committee should be formed of distinguished experts in science, technology and innovation, ‎and specified that the ESTIC should meet at least once every two years, and outlined the main duties as ‎follows: ‎

‎(a) Advising on member country endeavours to acquire modern technology including the need for ‎support, with particular reference to information and communications technology (ICT), biotechnology and ‎new materials technology; ‎
‎(b) Proposing ways to promote regional cooperation for the transfer, adaptation and mastery of ‎technology; ‎
‎(c) Advising on priorities related to ESCWA work programmes in the fields of developing scientific ‎and technological capabilities and technological innovation; and ‎
‎(d) Following up on international and regional resolutions relating to STI and their implementation ‎in member countries. ‎

The first meeting of the ESTIC was held in Beirut on 18 July 2002, following the Forum on Technology, ‎Employment and Poverty Alleviation in the Arab Countries, and focused on the uses of new technologies, ‎including ICT, for poverty reduction and employment creation. The second meeting of the Committee was ‎held in Damascus, on 24 November 2004, following the “Regional Preparatory Conference for WSIS – ‎Partnership for building the Arab information society,” and focused on building the information society in ‎the Arab region.‎

Within the restructuring and reorganization process of the ESCWA secretariat, the Information and ‎Communications Technology Division (ICTD) was established in 2002 and mandated to provide substantive ‎servicing to the ESTIC, according to the Secretary-General Bulletin dated 27 December 2002 ‎‎(ST/SGB/2002/16).‎

The 23rd ministerial session of ESCWA (9-12 May 2005) adopted the Resolution 254 (XXIII) on the ‎‎“Establishment of the ESCWA Technology Centre” ( ‎The Resolution requests (1) to produce a study on the establishment of a Technology Centre, through extra-‎budgetary financing, that aims at building national technological capacities that strengthen the efforts ‎towards achieving the development goals and socio-economic development and support regional and ‎international cooperation in technological fields; and (2) to submit that study to the Third meeting of the ‎ESTIC before submitting a report on the establishment of the Technology Centre to the 24th ministerial ‎session of ESCWA in May 2006.‎

In May 2006, during the 24th ministerial session of ESCWA, member countries will review the draft ‎Strategic Framework for the biennium 2008-2009, to be later submitted for adoption by the United Nations ‎Economic and Social Council and later by the United Nations General Assembly. The third meeting of ‎ESTIC will therefore address the proposed strategic framework of the programme, in addition to the work ‎programme of the ICTD for 2006-2007.‎


The establishment of the ESCWA Technology Centre (ETC), subject of Resolution 254 of the ESCWA 23rd ‎ministerial session (May 2005), constitutes the main issue to be discussed by the Third Meeting of the ‎ESTIC. During this meeting, the Committee members will discuss and enhance the Pre-feasibility study for ‎the establishment of the Technology Centre in order to submit it in the form of a report, together with a list ‎of recommendations, to the ESCWA 24th ministerial session that will be held during 8-12 May 2006. ‎

In addition to the Technology Centre, the Third ESTIC meeting will brief the committee members and ‎experts on the ICTD previous activities and work programme for the biennium 2006-2007. The proposed ‎strategic framework of the ICTD work programme for the biennium 2008-2009 will be discussed in order to ‎generate recommendations for the enhancement of the programme activities in order to better meet the needs ‎of the ESCWA member countries.‎


The main issues to be addressed at the Third Meeting of the ESTIC are: ‎
‎-‎ Progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2nd meeting of the ESTIC, and ‎proposed list of recommendations for the 3rd meeting;‎
‎-‎ Objectives and activities of the proposed ESCWA Technology Centre;‎
‎-‎ Preliminary Pre-feasibility study for the establishment of the Technology Centre;‎
‎-‎ Experiences in similar Technology Centres;‎
‎-‎ Financing and identification of the most appropriate location for the ESCWA Technology Centre;‎
‎-‎ ICTD previous activities, work programme for the 2006-2007 biennium, and proposed strategic ‎framework for 2008-2009.‎


The outcome of the third meeting of the ESTIC will be submitted to the 24th Ministerial Session of ESCWA, ‎to be held during 8-12 May 2005, for approval by the ESCWA member countries. The most important ‎meeting outcome will be:‎
‎(i)‎ Final report or detailed study on the ESCWA Technology Centre, and a list of recommendations ‎related to its establishment; and ‎
‎(ii)‎ Draft resolution related to the Technology Centre that will be proposed for adoption by the ESCWA ‎‎24th ministerial session;‎
‎(iii)‎ Recommendations for essential changes to the 2006-2007 work programme and 2008-2009 proposed ‎strategic framework.‎

‎ ‎

The Meeting is organized by the ICTD of ESCWA and will be held during 6-7 March 2006, at the United ‎Nations House, Beirut, Lebanon. ‎

In mid-February 2006, ESCWA will send to the participants the drafted Preliminary Pre-feasibility study in ‎order to review its content and provide their feedback to the meeting secretariat, either before or during the ‎meeting. Meanwhile, a virtual panel of experts will be working on a new version of the study, to be ‎distributed to participants by the end of February and discussed during the meeting.‎


Participants in the meeting will include a carefully selected group of distinguished managers and experts in ‎science, technology and innovation, including ICT, from academic institutions, research centres, ‎governmental institutions, ministries and enterprises engaged in innovative activities, as well as ‎representatives of international and regional multilateral development agencies. ‎

Participants who are interested in taking part in the Third meeting of the ESTIC could submit the pre-‎registration form that is available on the Web page‎


Both Arabic and English languages will be the working languages of the Meeting, noting that simultaneous ‎interpretation will not be provided.‎

Additional information

The Web page provides additional information on the ‎Meeting and pre-registration. Submissions, inquiries and requests for additional information should be ‎addressed to:‎

Mr. Mansour Farah, Officer-in-Charge
ICT Division, ESCWA
PO Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon‎
Tel: +961-1-978549, Fax: +961-1-981510‎

Inquiries regarding logistics, including travel and accommodation, should be directed to:‎

Ms. Zahr Bou-Ghanem, Research Assistant
ICT Division, ESCWA
PO Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon‎
Tel: +961-1-978549, Fax: +961-1-981510‎




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