Science, technology and innovation must be "a vehicle for inclusion"

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A family in Tarialan, Uvs Province, Mongolia, uses a solar panel to generate power for their ger, a traditional Mongolian tent. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Science, technology and innovation must be a "vehicle for inclusion" and the eradication of poverty, according to the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking at the inaugural Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, on Monday.

Matthew Wells has more.

The UN chief said that innovation was "embedded" in the SDGs adopted by more than 190 countries last September, as Goal number 17.

He said that innovation was a "mindset and an attitude" that meant questioning assumptions and thinking of technology as a means to an end.

"Science, technology and innovation must be a vehicle for inclusion, poverty eradication, and sustainable development. This multi-stakeholder Forum, which will take place each year until 2030, will pool ideas, and find ways to incentivize, scale up and adopt breakthrough solutions. I hope it will be a new way of doing things at the United Nations."

To succeed, we must go beyond our comfort zone he added, saying that "this is no time for business as usual"

Mr Ban's call to action was echoed by the billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

In a message to the conference, he said that the challenge was to "back our good intentions and aspirational goals, with the financial resources to get the job done."

He added that there was a "critical need" for new vaccines and drugs to reduce the burden of disease, and innovation in agriculture was essential to improve the yields of crops and livestock "the main source of nutrition and income" for 70 per cent of the world's poor.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'16"

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