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DAMASCUS, 24 November 2004

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The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) twenty-first session has decided to establish a Consultative Committee on Scientific and Technological Development and Technological Innovation (ESTIC), formed of distinguished experts in science, technology and innovation (STI).  Resolution 225 (XXI) of this session, ratified by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, outlines the main duties of ESTIC as follows: (i) 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; (ii) proposing ways to promote regional cooperation for the transfer, adaptation and mastery of technology; (iii) advising on priorities related to ESCWA work programmes in the fields of developing scientific and technological capabilities and technological innovation; (iv) following up on international and regional resolutions relating to STI and their implementation in member countries.  The same resolution stipulated that the Committee should meet at least once every two years.

The first meeting of 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.

With ESCWA restructuring, a newly established division – the Information and Communications Technology Division (ICTD) – has been mandated by the Secretary General Bulletin to provide servicing for ESTIC meetings.

The “Regional Preparatory Conference for WSIS – Partnership for building the Arab information society”, will be held in Damascus during 22-23 November 2004.[1]  The Conference main outcome, namely the Regional Plan of Action for building the Information Society, will constitute a major input to the Meeting.  The proposed ICTD work programme for the biennium 2006-2007 will also be discussed. The Committee should provide guidance to ICTD and to the Team on Technology for Sustainable Development, with respect to their work programmes.


The Second Meeting of the ESCWA Consultative Committee on Scientific and Technological Development and Technological Innovation aims at:

Promoting networking research and development (R and D) in the ESCWA member countries;

Making the ICTD work programme more adapted to the needs of the ESCWA member countries.


The Meeting is organized by ESCWA and will be held on the 24th of November 2004 at the Umayyad Congress Palace, in Damascus, Syria, following the Regional Preparatory Conference for WSIS.

With a view to best serve the above-mentioned two objectives, the Meeting is structured into two segments:

The first segment on “Networking research and development in the ESCWA member countries”, will be held between 09:00 and 12:30 hours, on the morning of 24th of November 2004;

The second segment on “ICTD work programme and the Regional Plan of Action for building the information society” will be held between 14:00 and 17:30 hours, on the afternoon of 24th of November 2004.


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


Both Arabic and English will be accepted working languages at the Meeting.  No simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

Additional information:

The Web page http://www.escwa.un.org/wsis/conference2/main.html provides the latest information on the Meeting and the Conference.  Inquiries and requests for additional information should be addressed to:

Mr. Ahmed Farahat, Director
ICT Division, ESCWA
P.O. Box 11-8575
Beirut, Lebanon
Email: farahat@un.org
Tel: +961-1-978549
Fax: +961-1-981510

Inquiries on organizational and substantive matters related to the first segment should be directed to:

Mr. Omar Bizri, Team Leader
Team on Technology for Sustainable Development
Sustainable Development and Productivity Division, ESCWA
E-mail: bizri@un.org
Tel: +961-1-978506, Mobile: 961-3-297543
Fax: +961-1-981510/1/2

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

Mr. Ramzi Ramadan, Director
Public Relations
Syrian Telecommunication Establishment
Mazeh Autostrade, PO Box 35108
Syrian Arab Republic
Email: pub-dir@net.sy
Tel: +963-11-6122645
Fax: +963-11-6121645

[1] The Web page http://www.escwa.un.org/wsis/conference2.main.html provides information about the Conference.