5th meeting - 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (2018 HLPF)
My name is Gloria Vitaly from the Youth Regional Network of Europe, speaking on behalf of the UN Major Group for Children and Youth.
Technological change is not new, but today’s trends are different enough to warrant a special dialogue, as referenced in General Assembly Resolution 72/242. We would even argue that we are behind. Privatizing knowledge and wealth, while socializing risks, is making it more difficult to address inequalities. There is no single answer to the challenges faced by exponential technologies, we need a range of policy options with potential for rapid revision. We need to be aware of risks related to technological lock-in with irreversible effects.
When discussing the “future” of technologies, we should not fall in the trap of generalizing trends across space.
The “future” is not evenly distributed…the opportunities not shared equally...and this jeopardizes our collective aspirations. To truly leave no one behind, we need to see technology justice as an integral part of development justice.
We urge for a global governance mechanism that promotes participatory and anticipatory technology assessments on the social, environmental, and economic impact of STI at all levels. Including a broad range of stakeholders and diverse sources of knowledge is a priority. Governance of technologies cannot be reactive, it has to be preemptive to maximize the potential benefits.
Finally, we would like to emphasize the role of education and capacity building:
- This discussion should not and cannot take place without the active engagement of young people in all institutional mechanisms related to STI.
- Access to STI and engineering education is essential to ensure decent jobs for youth and re-skilling of those who have already lost jobs.
- At its core, capacity building should promote intergenerational dialogue, with principles of people-centered and planet-sensitive applications of STI.
- Finally, with Target 17.8 being the first to be accomplished, we urge member states to further invest in national capacities, especially their youth, and report on S&T roadmaps as part of their national voluntary reviews.
Because we are not only the future generation, but also the present!