“A Glimpse of the Future South-South and Triangular Cooperation – Asia-Pacific’s Contribution in Science, Technology and Innovation” side event at Buenos Aires, Argentina, 20 March 2019




As the international community prepares for the Second High-Level UN Conference on
South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40 Conference) that will take place on 20-22 March 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of the major topics of discussion will be transformative technological changes and the challenges and opportunities resulting from Industry 4.0. The nexus between Future of Work and Science and Technology will also be explored during this event.

On December 14, 2018, UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, intergovernmental, academia and civil society South-South focal points held a retreat in Bangkok to share knowledge and plan partnerships for 2019.  The participants had the opportunity to review and discuss the zero-draft outcome document for BAPA +40 circulated by the co-facilitators for comments. Noting the importance of science, technology and innovation,
the South-South focal points recommended that the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) should enlist the support of key partners and convene a High-level Forum on science, technology and innovation on the sidelines of the Conference.

The Asia-Pacific Region is home to some of the most dynamic and fastest-growing economies in the world. On one hand it includes developed countries such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, giant emerging economies like China and India, developing economies like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. In the past decade, some of the middle-income countries have taken huge strides in balancing their economic development on knowledge, science, technology, and innovation.

The Government of Bangladesh is working towards achieving a vision of a Digital Bangladesh by 2021 and a Developed Bangladesh by 2041. The Government of Bangladesh has fostered unprecedented citizen-centric innovations and the establishment of a sustained pursuit for service decentralization, behavioral insights based policy advocacy, and empathy-driven innovation culture in what has been described as a “miraculous transformation” in delivering quality public services to the citizens’ doorsteps. To date, Bangladesh has saved 1.2 billion days, 4.7 billion US Dollars, and 627 million visits through reducing the time, cost, and number of visits (TCV) it takes citizens to access public services.

Bangladesh and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), established the South-South Network for Public Service Innovation (SSN4PSI), a global collaborative platform that has been working since November, 2017 to promote and facilitate adaptation of public service innovations on a global scale, ensure effective and useful replication of good practice/initiatives among countries and organizations through matchmaking workshops and learning from field visits. The SSN4PSI also facilitates policymaking and outreach activities to generate a global momentum around innovative solutions for delivering quality public services. So far, SSN4PSI has arranged 3 international matchmaking workshops and facilitated 11 field visits, which generated over 100 matchmaking opportunities from all corners of the world.

In the 2000s, the Republic of Korea in collaboration with the Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (SU-TCDC) convened the Seoul Science and Technology Forum.  The 2000 Forum was convened in the context of rapid globalization and the urgency for the Global South to find ways of developing and attaining technology for its growth and mitigating risks of globalization.  As evidenced by its growth from one of the countries in the Global South to a developed country within a decade of the Seoul Technology Forum, the Republic of Korea can be an essential partner to this cooperation.

Indonesia’s digital economy is poised to become the largest in Southeast Asia. The Government of Indonesia committed to mainstream digital transformation in next five-year national development plan. The national plan will include digital transformation policies to support economic growth as well as to accelerate SDGs achievements.

The All-India Disaster Management Institute (AIDMI) has for a long time focused on mitigation in the Disaster Reduction area. Disruptive High Technology will result in risks for some countries.  Mitigation steps need to be taken up so as not to leave anyone behind.

According to the report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work launched on 22 January, 2019, technological change is considered as a major driver of growth and development, yet it is equally associated with labour market change. In short, the Future of Work Commission highlighted that the impact of technology on the world of work will depend on how countries share their experiences and lessons learnt, how benefits are distributed, and whether the transition creates decent and quality work, which in turn would have positive impact on national and regional economic growth in the Global South.



Governments in both the developing and developed countries are going through tremendous changes to respond to rapidly rising expectations of the citizens, accelerating technological transformations and strong competitive pressure from the private sector service providers. In the past decade, technology has improved public services by leaps and bounds, bringing it to the doorsteps of the citizens, making it cheaper and faster, and ensuring equitable opportunities for the citizens of the grassroots level. However, technology has also widened the digital divide for the have-nots and the marginalized due to lack of access to technology.



Against that backdrop, “A Glimpse of the Future South-South and Triangular Cooperation – Asia-Pacific’s Contribution in Science, Technology and Innovation” will provide a timely opportunity for high-level participants from government and other key policymakers to share knowledge and experience on Science, Technology, and Innovation. Some of the questions that will be addressed include:

  1. What are the opportunities and threats resulting from the technological changes under Industry 4.0?
  2. What kind of innovations should/are policy makers putting in place to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0?
  3. What is an effective South-South Cooperation Framework that enables finding and sharing meaningful answers to the challenges?
  4. How do we leverage the opportunities and tackle the challenges of Industry 4.0 technologies? And what are the effective ways of sharing such best practices among countries of the Global South?
  5. Given the relative newness and the unprecedentedly rapid transformation caused by Industry 4.0 technologies in the job market, how should governments in the global south prepare their youth for the future?



–           Head of delegations or designated representatives of Asia-Pacific Member States attending the BAPA+40 Conference, South-South focal points;

–           Director-Generals of Technical Cooperation of the Asia-Pacific;

–           Intergovernmental Organisations, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, UN Agencies, think-tanks, private sector and other stakeholders.

–           Argentinean participants


Draft Agenda


13:00-13:20 hrs

High-Level Opening

·       Mr. Jorge Chediek, UNOSSC Director and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation

·       Hon. Prof. Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro, PhD., Minister of National Development Planning/Head of BAPPENAS of the Republic of Indonesia

·       Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

·       Hon. Dr. Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh


13:20-14:10 hrs

Session 1:  Trends in Industry 4.0, Positive and Adverse Impacts – Implications for the Developing World

Moderator: Mr. Denis Nkala, UNOSSC Regional Coordinator and Representative for Asia and the Pacific

Keynote Presentation:

Dato’ Ir. (Dr.) Lee Yee Cheong, Chairman of Governing Board, ISTIC (15 min)


·       Prof. Norma Nudelman, Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Buenos Aires (South-South Cooperation in STEM education in the Americas)

·       Ms. Anita Amorim, Head, Emerging and Special Partnerships Unit, ILO (results from ILO’s research for the Future of Work Commission based on Technological changes and work in the future: Making technology work for all)


14:10-15:00 hrs

Session 2: Implementing Policies & Strategy for Science and Technology and Industry 4.0

Moderator: Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor for a2i, Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh


·       Government of Bangladesh

·       Dr. Woosung Lee, Research Fellow, Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) (representing Ministry of Science and ICT of the Republic of Korea)

·       Mr. Ivan Huang, Senior Director, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

·       Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoa, Deputy General Director, Viettel Global Investment JSC




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