Director of the Technology and Logistics at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) visited Okayama University
February 07, 2023
In January 2020, Okayama University and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for comprehensive cooperation on the development of human resources in science and technology innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (STI for SDGs), the first of its kind among universities around the world.
Furthermore, the university introduced two human resource development programmes, "Joint Research and Training Course for Young Female Researchers from Developing Countries" (Short-term) and "Doctoral degree program for young researchers from developing countries" (Long-term), based on this MoU.
Based on the MoU and the three years of excellent relationship exchanges with UNCTAD, Dr. Shamika Silliman, Director of Technology and Logistics at UNCTAD, visited our university on January 31, 2023.
Director Sirimanne gave a special lecture at the Okayama Visionary Commons (*), which was just completed a few days ago under the supervision of Professor Kuma Kengo, a distinguished invited professor at Okayama University. Approximately 100 participants, including students, faculty and staff members of the university, high school students, and people from the local community, participated in this special lecture.
The director stated, "My lecture aims to eliminate the gap between developed and developing countries concerning frontier technology and lead to a sustainable society in which these technologies exclude no one. I hope we can provide better ideas about what governments, businesses, civil society, and the international community can do," and all the participants listened attentively.
On the same day, the short-term program's research result presentation session for the year 2022-2023 was also held in a hybrid format, and thirteen participants (8 from South Africa, two from the Gambia, one from Egypt, Tanzania, and the Philippines respectively) participated online and onsite to make a presentation in front of Director Sirimanne, President Makino and others to share their research results from the programme. Director Sirimanne commented, "Many developing countries lack the resources to train researchers in science and technology to the highest academic level. However, many young female researchers have gained invaluable research experience at Okayama, taking home with them new knowledge, new skills, and new international collaborative networks." She also encouraged this year's participants by wishing them the best for their future work in scientific fields.
During the visit, Director Sirimanne participated in a discussion with President Makino and other executives and several sessions with Okayama University researchers and students under the UNCTAD proagramme to deepen understanding of the excellent results of UNCTAD's two human resource development programmes.
Taking this opportunity of Director Sirimanne's visit to our university, we will further strengthen our cooperation with UNCTAD, the core organization of the United Nations that implements and manages STI for SDGs and promote human resource development initiatives for STI for SDGs from Okayama to the world.
◯United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
UNCTAD is the United Nations' central forum for the integrated handling of interrelated issues in development and trade, finance, technology, investment, and sustainable development. It aims to maximize the trade, investment, and development opportunities for developing countries, assist them in facing challenges arising from globalization, and integrate them into the world economy on an equal footing.
※"Okayama Visionary Commons...Completed on January 26, 2023, under the supervision of Professor Kuma Kengo, a distinguished invited professor at Okayama University (nickname: OUX [Oaks]). A large-scale lecture hall and joint research as a place for new interaction and co-creation to revitalize local industry in an eco-friendly wooden building using CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) that contributes to a carbon-neutral/decarbonized society. It also functions as a "co-creation laboratory" as a base.
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International Planning Division, International Affairs Department