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Fourth Meeting of Ministers of Science and Technology of the Americas in Guatemala Concludes with the Approval of the 2016-2020 Action Plan and Recommendations for the Seventh Summit of the Americas

  March 11, 2015

The Fourth Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Science and Technology (REMCYT) of the Americas, organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) with the central theme of "Inclusive Innovation: Keys to Reduce Inequality and Increase Productivity in the Region," concluded today in Guatemala City with the approval of the Plan of Action of Guatemala and recommendations for the Seventh Summit of the Americas, to be held on April 10 and 11 in Panama.

The 2016-2020 Plan of Action of Guatemala continues and furthers the objectives and work carried out in the framework of the Plan of Action of Panama, approved at the Third REMCYT, held in Panama in 2011, and reaffirms the structure, composition, and methodology of the four pillars identified in the previous Plan of Action: Innovation; Education and Human Resources Training; Quality National Infrastructure; and Technological Development, and their respective working groups.
In addition, the approved plan agreed to include considerations on the following cross-cutting issues: inclusive innovation, women’s participation and leadership, and collaboration with the private sector, academia, civil society, and other social actors, including communities.

Regarding the recommendation to the Heads of State and Government that will meet at the Seventh Summit of the Americas, the ministerial meeting proposed: “Coordinate efforts to achieve universal broadband access in all of our countries; and to continue creating conditions for increased public and private investment in research and development, and its science and technology infrastructure, to foster inclusive innovation and high-impact entrepreneurship.”

The OAS Secretary for External Relations and head of the Secretariat of the Summits of the Americas, Alfonso Quiñonez, highlighted as very important that the S Implementation and Review Group (SIRG) receives the initiatives of the Ministers and High Authorities of Science and Technology, because "due to their cross-sectorial nature, science and technology are engines of economic and social development and should be integrated into national and regional strategies." The recommendations are available here.

In her closing speech at the ministerial meeting, the OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development (SEDI), Sherry Tross, said that there are no geographical boundaries in the field of science and technology. “If we accept the proposition that, in the area of technology, borders are no longer necessarily defined by geography but by opportunity, then the case for collaboration is clear," she said.
In this sense, the head of SEDI added that "the opportunities for inter-state collaboration as well as public-private partnerships that grow out of these ministerial encounters are significant.”

For his part, the Minister of Science and Technology of Guatemala, Armando Pokus, in the closing speech of the event, highlighted the importance of the issues addressed in the IV REMCYT and recognized that there are significant challenges that must be addressed responsibly by countries. He reiterated the need to improve the allocation of resources to the issues of science, technology and innovation, in order to implement lines of action to solve the main problems of common interest and to this end, work on building a culture of cooperation in order to enhance the results, with a special focus on the causes of the main problems and not just the effects, because attacking the effects looks to produce palliative effects but does not address the root of the issues.

"It is vital to boost technology transfer and knowledge, particularly to rural communities, so that innovation is truly inclusive and can achieve the cascading effect of development, from urban centers to rural areas," added Minister Pokus.

In the final session of the meeting, the Government of Colombia expressed officially to the ministers and high authorities of the region its desire to host the fifth REMCYT in the South American country.

REMCYT is the meeting that brings together Ministers and High Level Authorities on Science and Technology from OAS member states, as well as representatives from international organizations, civil society, research centers, universities and the private sector.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-079/15