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United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)

The Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It was established in 1992 as a result of the restructuring and revitalization of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields.

CSTD was established to provide the General Assembly and ECOSOC 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. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is responsible for the substantive servicing of the Commission.

Among others, CSTD acts as a forum for the examination of science and technology questions and their implications for development, as well as the advancement of understanding on science and technology policies, particularly in respect of developing countries. Since 2006, CSTD has been mandated by ECOSOC to serve as the focal point in the system-wide follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and advise the Council thereon.

CSTD has forty-three Member States elected by ECOSOC for a term of four years. Currently, CSTD has nine members from Asia-Pacific States: China, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Thailand and Turkmenistan.

In 2016, CSTD analyzed smart cities and infrastructure and foresight for digital development, the process of forecasting technological evolution and its impact on society. In 2017, the Twentieth Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development will be held from 8-12 May in Geneva, Switzerland.