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CRDF Global, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Royal Scientific Society of Jordan Hold First Ever Regional Forum on Science & Technology Diplomacy

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Participants of the first ever science diplomacy forum in the Middle East

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CRDF Global, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Royal Scientific Society of Jordan Hold First Ever Regional Forum on Science & Technology Diplomacy

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

CRDF Global, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Technology Center and the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan (RSS), Under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of the RSS, held the first ever Regional Forum on Science & Technology Diplomacy on December 1-2, at the RSS, in Amman. CRDF Global is an independent nonprofit that promotes cross-borders collaboration through grants, technical resources, training and services.

The Forum, themed Towards Transformative and Inclusive Partnership for a Sustainable Future, brought together representatives from the scientific, diplomatic and policymaking communities in the Arab region to address:

  • Models, mechanisms and results of science diplomacy in the region
  • Potential role of science and technology in addressing pressing challenges such as water scarcity, energy and food security
  • Effective mechanisms for dialogue among diplomats, policymakers, researchers and academics to identify common areas of interest and processes to enhance cooperation
  • Role of science diplomacy in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

The Forum achieved these objectives:

  • Identified potential priority projects and areas spaces where science and technology diplomacy can play a crucial role in addressing the challenges and needs of Arab countries
  • Drafted a job description template for Science Diplomats capable of building a better policy interface
  • Further developed a knowledge network across the region to enhance the exchange of ideas between the scientific and diplomatic communities

“CRDF Global was very pleased to work with our partners, ESCWA and RSS, on this regional knowledge exchange on the contributions and potential of science and technology to address our shared challenges,” said CRDF Global President & CEO Cathy Campbell. “Science diplomacy strengthens capacity and points the course to sustainability. It is an important and underutilized resource that must be tapped more energetically for the benefit of not just regional, but global prosperity,” Campbell said.

“Science provides the means and communication tools to bring nations together. This Forum helps to emphasise the fact that our greatest challenges are regional and global, and that governments and science communities must work together to tackle them,” said HRH Princess Sumaya. “RSS is committed to providing solutions through innovation and cross-border engagement, particularly in the Arab World where multilateralism remains underdeveloped.”

“Scientific cooperation is an international requirement due to the nature of the sustainable development goals (SDGs),” said Haidar Fraihat, Director of Technology for Development Division at UN-ESCWA. Fraihat also affirmed, “UN-ESCWA Technology Centre is spearheading the efforts to energize the concept of the science diplomacy in the Arab region.”