Keynote: Harnessing Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development

Shamika N. Sirimanne

Abstract

The talk will be based on the Technology and Innovation Report 2018 of UNCTAD. Ms Sirimanne will present the special features and potential of frontier technologies, examine economic and societal challenges these technologies bring to developing countries, and present UNCTAD’s research findings on how to harness frontier frontier technologies for achieving sustainable development goals. She will also outline how organizations like IFIP can contribute to the development aspirations of developing countries.

Short biography

Ms. Shamika N. Sirimanne is the Director of the Division on Technology and Logistics (DTL) of UNCTAD. She leads UNCTAD's work in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), including the work on e-commerce and digital economy. She also serves as the Head of the Secretariat of the UN Commission of Science and Technology for Development which is the focal point of the United Nations on STI policy dialogue.

Ms. Sirimanne has extensive experience in development policy, research and technical cooperation gained from international organizations, national governments, think tanks and universities. She served as Director of the ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), where she spearheaded major regional cooperation programmes. Among them are the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway initiative for seamless broadband connectivity, Regional Drought Mechanism for monitoring and early warning of drought through space applications, and the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade (UNNExT) initiated in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

During her tenure with ESCAP, Ms. Sirimanne also headed the trade facilitation programme, and led the macroeconomic policy work and ESCAP’s flagship publication, Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific. Prior to that, Ms. Sirimanne was with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), where she led the economic policy team and the Economic Report on Africa, the flagship publication of ECA. Ms. Sirimanne has also worked for the Canadian Department of Finance and the World Bank. Ms. Sirimanne holds a PhD in Economics.




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