Korea supports Sri Lankas efforts to become hub of the Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka has set its national vision to become an upper middle-income country by 2025 by transforming the country into the hub of the Indian Ocean with a knowledge-based, highly comparative, social market economy. To do so, the country tries to harness science, technology and innovation to create the conditions which will generate economic growth.In order to realize the vision of national development with sound STI capacity, it is necessary for the Government to have the officials equipped with knowledge and expertise in establishing and implementing national STI policy, its action plans and an efficient STI system, the Korean Embassy said. Korea has extended support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to become the hub of the Indian Ocean.The Korean Embassy in Colombo today said that the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) held workshops on “Capacity Building in Building in STI Policy Formulation and R&D Commercialization” in Colombo recently. The workshop was designed to enhance the capacities of 50 senior – level officials and managers of the related Science and Technology governmental agencies, academia and research institutions. The workshop was mainly focused for high level Government officials and researchers in Sri Lanka. The Embassy said that in most of the cases policy formulation and implementation in Sri Lanka are based on ad hoc approaches and intuition.The National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research (MoSTR) of Sri Lanka has requested STEPI to provide a customized training program for STI stakeholders about STI policy development and R&D commercialization mechanisms by submitting the Project Concept Paper(PCP) in March, 2017.As per this request a special workshop on capacity building in STI policy formulation and R&D commercialization commenced in Colombo, 30th May 2018 to June 5th. A special team from STEPI will conduct this training program with presentations on various policy tools, R&D planning and evaluation techniques and R&D commercialization approaches with relevant case studies from Korea. Prof. Gunapala Nanayakkara, Chairman of NASTEC delivering the welcome speech of the inauguration session described the present situation of Science, Technology and Research in Sri Lanka, Dr. EunJoo Kim from the STEPI Team and H M B C Herath, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Science Technology and Research also delivered speeches during the ceremony.Concluding the session vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Kalpa Samarakoon from NASTEC.The output expected from the workshop is to acquire essential knowledge on framework, concept, schemes and tools involved in developing STI policies and managing national Research and Development programmes. The inauguration ceremony of the workshop was held at the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA) auditorium with the participation of the members of the STEPI team from South Korea, officials from NASTEC, Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, and invited scientists and guests from institutes in Sri Lanka. It is also to share Korean experiences and practices which were applied in the fields as well as to explore policy ideas to apply in the Sri Lanka context through discussions with Korean experts. (Colombo Gazette) read more

World must act with collective humanity to address growing humanitarian needs –

“Let us act with collective humanity to lift people in crisis from fear and helplessness,” Mr. Ban said in remarks to a high-level event convened by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual debate.He noted that around the world, thousands of men and women dedicate themselves to helping communities facing perilous circumstances. However, despite these efforts, each year the number of people in need continues to escalate.“The scale and cost of meeting humanitarian needs is increasingly overwhelming our capacity to respond. The future will be even worse if we do not take decisive, collective action now.” Recalling last week’s adoption by Member States of a new sustainable development agenda, Mr. Ban said it will not be possible to achieve a world of safety and dignity for all without addressing the plight of millions of women, children and men affected by humanitarian crises.This is why the World Humanitarian Summit that the UN will convene in Istanbul, Turkey on 23 and 24 May 2016 will be so important, he noted. “The Summit is a vital opportunity to reinforce our common endeavour to save lives, and prevent and alleviate suffering.”The Summit will bring together governments, humanitarian organizations, people affected by humanitarian crises and new partners including the private sector to propose solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges and set an agenda to keep humanitarian action fit for the future.It will build on a series of major global conferences such as the progress achieved on disaster risk reduction in Sendai, on development financing in Addis Ababa, on sustainable development in New York, and on the agreement on climate change that Member States are striving to adopt in Paris in December.In preparation for the Summit, global consultation process has taken place involving 23,000 people in 151 countries. The Synthesis Report of the consultations proposes five major action areas to shape the Summit: dignity; safety; resilience; partnerships and finance.Also expected to frame the discussions at the Summit are recommendations that will be submitted by the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, which the Secretary-General set up in May to identify ways to close the gap between rising needs and the resources available to meet them. Mr. Ban, who will later today convene a high-level meeting on migration and refugee movements, noted that more than 60 million people around the world have been forced to abandon their homes due to violence and persecution – more than at any time since the Second World War – and half of them are children.“Armed conflict is by far the greatest driver of humanitarian need,” he stated. “The absence of political solutions leads to protracted crises and more displacement. As populations rise, along with extreme poverty, growing inequality and rapid unplanned urbanization, natural hazards are a growing risk.“Climate change is also causing increasing humanitarian stress,” he continued, adding that it threatens to cause massive internal displacement and cross-border movement in the coming decades.“Let us never forget that behind each statistic is a human life: a woman, a man, a child, with aspirations and human rights. Each deserves protection. Each has a right to a life of dignity.” read more