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Home  > International Relations  > News  > Portugal Elected Member of the UN's CSTD – President of UMIC Represents Portugal

Portugal Elected Member of the UN's CSTD – President of UMIC Represents Portugal

 - 19/05/2009

UN logo Portugal was elected to the UN’s CSTD – Commission on Science and Technology for Development yesterday in New York, with a mandate until the end of 2012. This election took place at a meeting of the UN’s ECOSOC – Economic and Social Committee held on 18th May 2009 at UN headquarters in New York. Portugal hereby becomes one of Western countries on this Commission, which currently also includes Germany, Austria, Belgium, the United States of America, Finland, France, Israel, Switzerland and Turkey.

The representatives of CSTD Member States are nominated by the UN based on the qualifications and scientific or professional knowledge necessary for the Commission’s mandate. Portugal’s entry into the CSTD was thus approved by ECOSOC through the election of Luis Magalhães, President of Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC).

The CSTD, which was set up in 1992, is a subsidiary body of ECOSOC providing high-level advice to this Council and to the UN General Assembly on Science and Technology (S&T) policies and their implications for development, with Information Society-related topics recently added to its remit. According to the provisions, the CSTD consists of 43 countries with 4-year mandates, including, in addition to the 10 aforementioned Western countries, 11 African countries, 9 from Asia, 8 from South America and the Caribbean and 5 from Eastern Europe.

The first CSTD meeting at which Portugal will participate as a member will be the 12th meeting, which will take place within a week, from 25th to 29th May 2009. At this meeting, the CSTD will assess implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) at the regional and international level, which include the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and also take in the following topics:

  • policies for developing an inclusive Information Society,
  • S&T and engineering for innovation,
  • empowerment in education and research,
  • evaluation of S&T and innovation policies.

The outcomes of the discussions will be submitted to the ECOSOC plenary session scheduled for July.

ECOSOC was mandated by the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society in 2005 with supervising the entire UN system for following up the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which included a mandate to review the CSTD with the objective of beefing up this Commission with these competences. In this way, at its July 2006 meeting, ECOSOC decided that the CSTD would be the focal point for the follow-up system for WSIS outcomes, providing advice on the corresponding subjects for recommendations to be drafted on achieving the Summit outcomes, for which it should:

  • Gauge regional and international progress in achieving the Action Lines (in Portuguese) stemming from the WSIS;
  • Promote the sharing of best and most effective practices and lessons, identifying barriers and suggesting actions to overcome them in order to achieve the WSIS outcomes effectively;
  • Promote dialogue and partnerships in coordination with other specialised UN funds, programmes and agencies to help contribute to achieving the WSIS objectives;
  • Ensure Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are used to achieve the internationally-agreed development goals, with the participation of governments, the private sector, civil society, the UN and other international organisations, in accordance with their different roles and responsibilities.
Last updated ( 16/07/2010 )