Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, (right) is urging the developing world to act now to advance strategic plans to fully incorporate science and technology into its development. The Minister was speaking at the G77 and China Summit held in Cuba from September 15-16, where she represented Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith is urging the developing world to act now to advance strategic plans to fully incorporate science and technology into its development.
The Minister was speaking at the G77 and China Summit held in Cuba from September 15-16, where she represented Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
In her statement to the Summit, Johnson Smith referenced the 2023 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Report on Technology and Innovation, which she stated, reminds that there are windows of opportunity for the Global South.
According to the Foreign Minister, “the report correctly asserts that we can build resilience, grow stronger and more diversified economies, and move to better development trajectories with the wave of technological change unleashed by renewable and other green technologies.”
Johnson Smith also reiterated the call for the international community to foster an open, fair, inclusive and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological development. According to the Minister, the issue of access to technology and bridging the digital divide, including its gender dimensions, must also be addressed.
Underscoring the importance of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), the Minister asserted that focus should be given on how to promote and utilise digital technologies for the benefit of all, along with the requisite governance arrangements to prevent their misuse.
“The sharing of experiences and best practices in the implementation of policies, projects and programmes, between and among our countries, will also be essential,” she stated.
Minister Johnson Smith recommended that access to appropriate climate financing and financing for development that includes science and technology should be an imperative.
The Foreign Minister provided the Summit with an update on Jamaica’s 2022 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, noting that priority is being given to expanding access to affordable and reliable internet connectivity and the digitalisation of critical sectors.
In the margins of the Summit, the Minister also engaged in discussions with the President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz Canel and other regional leaders. Johnson Smith also participated in a series of bilateral talks with countries including Tunisia, Djibouti, Senegal, Cameroon, Namibia, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
“We leveraged the opportunity to engage with our partners in respect of their support for Jamaica’s Candidatures to the International Maritime Organisation and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee,” Minister Johnson Smith stated.