While the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastation continues to ransack continents and states, it has advantaged the potential of meeting the urge for collaboration to meet smarter development as technology sharing improved among states a fate that potentially can combat climate change and meet sustainable development goals when adopted.
The seventh edition of perhaps the United Nation’s most consolidated report in terms of Science, the geopolitical landscape and the quest to meet global goals emphasised potential advantages that developing countries had to face as science data sharing has been enhanced while the complexities of meeting both Sustainable Development Goals and the Green Smarter Development remained eminent.
According to the report, “From the outset, scientists shared information and data with one another, beginning with the sequenced genome of the coronavirus in early January 2020. The pandemic has showcased the benefits of this culture of sharing both within and beyond borders (see The time for open science is now, p. 12). There has been a surge in international scientific collaboration in many parts of the world since 2015.”
The report also highlighted how,
“It is striking how development priorities have aligned over the past five years. Countries of all income levels are prioritizing their transition to digital and ‘green’ economies, in parallel. This reflects a double imperative. On the one hand, the clock is ticking for countries to reach their Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. On the other, countries are convinced that their future economic competitiveness will depend upon how quickly they transition to digital societies.”
Country’s were urged to develop strategies and structures that would meet the competency to meet the broad green clean energy quest, climate change combating, technology determinism and sustainable development goals.
“This year’s UNESCO Science Report – the Race Against Time for Smarter Development – focuses on the global shift towards economies that are greener, knowledge-based and make the best use of digital technologies. We must work to ensure that the pursuit of advanced technology and sustainable development go hand in hand. The Report finds that the global researcher population continues to grow, yet there is a strong imbalance around the world.” The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guteres emphasised in his report preface.
Furthermore, “The first is that we are all deeply interconnected. No-one will be safe from the virus until everyone is safe. The second lesson is that the same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also increase the risk of pandemics through their impact on the environment.The third lesson is the vital importance of science. Said Antonio Guteres.
African and developing countries were urged by the report to potentially advantage as,
“For developing countries, this imperative is obliging them to accelerate a process of industrialization and infrastructure development that would normally take decades. This process can be an opportunity for them to reduce their dependence on foreign technologies.”
Research and collaboration with non state actors was also viewed as a key component for African and developing countries to put centre stage for potential maximum industrial development
“As long as governments can ensure that industrialization and infrastructure development intersect with capacity-building in research and innovation. Since the private sector will need to drive much of the dual transition, governments everywhere are designing new policy tools to facilitate technology transfer to industry.”
While data sharing following the global COVID 19 purge has arguably improved, it remains wether the same sharing standards will be adopted amongst states as for spearing sustainable development and green technological advancement shall meet the same fate.