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OAS Committee on Science and Technology Agrees to Promote Innovation, Education and Technological Development in the Region

  November 15, 2013

The Eighth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology (COMCYT) of the Organization of American States (OAS) today concluded with an agreement to continue promoting cooperation between the member states of the Organization, in order to promote innovation, education and technological development in the region.

Among the conclusions and recommendations adopted by acclamation the meeting recognized that the Panama Action Plan, through its four working groups – Innovation; Human Resources Education and Training; Quality National Infrastructure; and Technological Development - is producing concrete results in the promotion of cooperation between OAS member states and strategic partners through joint projects, the exchange of information, resources and tools.

During the event, held at the headquarters of the Organization in Washington, DC, Guatemala was chosen to preside COMCYT, also by acclamation, for the next period, while Panama and Costa Rica were elected as First and Second Vice-Chairs, respectively. It was also agreed that the Fourth Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Science and Technology will be held in Guatemala in 2014, at a date to be determined in coordination with the OAS General Secretariat, which shall be sent for consideration to the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) .

The Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the OAS, Sherry Tross, concluded the event and stressed that the meeting had met its stated objectives. "We have shared the results of the four working groups and the benefits from the experience offered: projects, good practices and recommendations presented by the member states, observer countries, universities, professional associations and NGOs, among others," she said.

The OAS official stressed that the range of topics covered - connectivity; broad band access, collaboration, gender and youth programs, strategic sectors, quality infrastructure and how to build talent for the 21st century speaks to the importance of integral development. "This two-day meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology (COMCYT) has allowed us to take stock of the overall outcomes achieved to date under the Plan of Action of Panama 2012-2016 and helps us begin to lay out the road map for the next Ministerial Meeting to be held in 2014," she added.

Executive Secretary Tross noted that during the meeting participants elaborated on the concepts of inclusion and participation as a working tool of COMCYT. "The panel with private sector representatives as well as the roundtable discussion on women’s entrepreneurship not only helped to inform perspectives, they also expanded opportunities for real collaboration,” she said.

Tross said the resolutions adopted at the meeting to drive innovation in the region have the potential to "transform our economies and societies." "A core component of this effort is using innovation to achieve inclusive and sustainable development by bringing into the economic mainstream our countries’ vast low-income and geographically remote populations," she added.

Moreover, the head of the Secretariat for Integral Development said the OAS commitment to quality in education and development is perhaps "one of its most important and effective tools to target at-risk populations, democratize access, enhance the framework for equal opportunity and inclusion, address intra-generational and inter-generational equity, and enable present and future generations to make the best use of their capabilities and realize their potential."

Another of the conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Eighth COMCYT was to invite all interested member states and institutions to join the working groups and contribute their skills and experience to expand and deepen opportunities for cooperation. During the meeting, offers of cooperation between member states and strategic partners were presented, and the General Secretariat was requested to continue to facilitating communication through working groups and supporting the implementation of the projects and initiatives of collaboration and cooperation.

It was also agreed that the General Secretariat, at the request of the coordinating countries of the working groups, continue organizing meetings, in person or by videoconference, in order to follow up on ongoing projects and strengthen cooperation mechanisms among participants.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-440/13