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SPECA countries develop a strategic approach to push innovation for sustainable development in the region

Technological, economic, and institutional innovation will be essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

To this end, the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), which includes Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, has developed a first draft of a SPECA regional Strategy on Innovation for Sustainable Development.

In his opening remarks at a SPECA Regional Workshop on “Innovation Strategy, Technology Applications and Infrastructure for the SDGs” hosted in Baku, the Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan, Mr. Elmir Valizade, highlighted that regional cooperation on innovation will be essential to achieve the SDGs, and that countries should seek new opportunities to expand joint activities in these areas.

Top of the agenda was a request from the SPECA Governing Council, held in Dushanbe in December 2017, to elaborate a regional innovation strategy to support the achievement of the SDGs. Experts discussed a regional innovation strategy, developed by the UNECE secretariat. Delegates welcomed the draft strategy, and requested it be submitted to the SPECA Governing Council in Almaty on 21 September 2018 for consideration. Country representatives noted the importance of leadership of the countries, as well as the value of continued support from international donors.

The Regional Workshop was held on 4-5 July in Baku, back-to-back with the 10th session of the Working Group on Knowledge-based Development of the SPECA Programme, which is a policy platform supported jointly by the UN Economic Commissions for Europe and Asia and the Pacific (UNECE and ESCAP). SPECA supports exchange of experience and policy dialogue to promote collaboration in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. 

UNECE and ESCAP confirmed their commitment to support SPECA as the only regional grouping that brings together the landlocked Central Asian countries, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, to search for shared solutions to common problems.

For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=48762