The Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It was established in 1992 as a result of the restructuring and revitalisation of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields. Through this restructuring, the General Assembly abolished the former Intergovernmental Committee on Science and Technology for Development (IGCSTD) and its subsidiary body, the Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for Development (ACSTD), created at the time of the United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development, held in Vienna in 1979, and replaced them by the CSTD.
In 1998, the Council, in a further review of all its functional commissions, decided to introduce a number of changes in its membership, focus and methods of work.
The Commission met for the first time in April 1993 in New York, USA. Since July 1993, the UNCTAD secretariat has been responsible for the substantive servicing of the Commission. The Commission has subsequently met in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Commission was established to provide the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council with high-level advice on relevant issues through analysis and appropriate policy recommendations or options in order to enable those organs to guide the future work of the United Nations, develop common policies and agree on appropriate actions.
In this context, the Commission acts as a forum for:
- the examination of science and technology questions and their implications for development;
- the advancement of understanding on science and technology policies, particularly in respect of developing countries and;
- the formulation of recommendations and guidelines on science and technology matters within the United Nations system.
Frequency of meetings
The Commission meets annually for a period of one week (ECOSOC resolution 2002/37, reaffirmed in draft Council resolution 2003/31 of 4 June 2003 ).
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