CRDF Global, United Nations ESCWA, Royal Scientific Society of Jordan Hold First Ever Regional Forum on Science and Technology Diplomacy in Amman

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Landmark Forum in Middle East North African Region Brings Together Scientific, Diplomatic and Policymaking Communities to Solve Problems with Science and Technology in Amman

Participants of the forum in front of the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan in Amman.

Science provides the means and communication tools to bring nations together. This Forum helps to emphasize the fact that our greatest challenges are regional and global, and that governments and science communities must work together to tackle them.

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:

1) 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
2) Drafted a job description template for Science Diplomats capable of building a better policy interface
3) 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 emphasize 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.”

About CRDF Global
CRDF Global is an independent, nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for scientists and innovators to make the world a better place. Established in 1995 to promote international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training, and services, CRDF Global specializes in bringing isolated scientific communities into the global scientific mainstream. CRDF Global has 20 years of experience managing international research funding programs and supporting emerging science and technology infrastructure in more than 40 countries around the world. CRDF Global is based in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Amman, Jordan; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Moscow, Russia; and Kyiv, Ukraine.

About RSS
The Royal Scientific Society (RSS) is the largest applied research institution, consultancy, and technical support service provider in Jordan, and functions as a regional leader in the fields of science and technology. RSS provides expert testing services through more than 25 specialised locally and internationally accredited laboratories and prides itself on offering both the public and private sectors a unique scientific resource and a wide range of project expertise. Supported by more than 500 scientists, researchers, technical support staff, highly skilled management and faculty, the RSS is recognized as a local, regional and international research and development hub.

About UN ESCWA Technology Centre (ETC)
UN ETC is a specialized Regional Centre committed to assisting members of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) by strengthening their capabilities in Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) through developing and managing national systems, determining the suitable technology for the region, and improving the legal and commercial framework for the transfer of technology. The Centre also aims at enhancing the technological and scientific knowledge content of major economic sectors in member countries.

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Becky Sheetz-Runkle
CRDF Global
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