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Science ministers adopt Daejeon Declaration for sustainable growth

Science ministers from member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development adopted a joint declaration on Wednesday charting out a vision and guidelines for sustainable and inclusive growth through scientific development.

The "Daejeon Declaration on Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for the Global and Digital Age" came after a two-day meeting of top science policymakers from members of the Paris-based organization in Daejeon, the country's hub of technology research located 164 kilometers south of Seoul.

"Science technologies will improve the quality of life for all our citizens as they increase employment, productivity and economic growth in a sustainable manner over the long term," the declaration said.

It also offers ways to achieve strong, sustainable and inclusive growth through science and tackle common challenges, such as economic slowdowns, climate change and income gaps among nations.

Welcoming the unanimous adoption of the declaration, Seoul's science minister said it will form the basis for policy-making over the next decade.

"The Daejeon Declaration will serve as the guideline for science and technology policies for the next 10 years," South Korean Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Choi Yang-hee said.

"Participants have agreed that science technologies are vital to overcome global issues."

"We have established a new milestone for global science development through the Daejeon Declaration. We hope that the global efforts to achieve the visions mentioned in the declaration will continue."

He said the declaration came in a timely manner as the global society is facing challenges in various areas, including economic growth, energy, food supply, and climate change.

"The declaration comes in line with South Korea's creative economy policy. The vision is also known as a role model to OECD members. South Korea will also make efforts to reflect the latest declaration in our policy-setting processes," Choi said.

Choi added that it is also significant that the Daejeon Declaration has established a platform to help developed nations forge deeper ties with underdeveloped countries through science.

"South Korea has played a significant role in spreading international cooperation into a larger scope by inviting ASEAN countries," he said.

Andrew Wyckoff, the director of the OECD's Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, also hailed the adoption of the document, saying that it will provide a policy tablet for the organization as well.

In the declaration, the participants also said that science technology will play a crucial role in improving the welfare of mankind and boost economic growth and productivity, and such efforts are critical amid the aging of populations and the spread of new diseases.

"Greater international cooperation is critical for addressing global challenges, but new coordination, funding and governance mechanisms are also required, notably to better exploit open science, invest in global research infrastructures and accelerate collective responses to crises," it said.

The declaration also plans to promote cooperation among government and private institutions to spark further growth in the science technology realm.

It marked the first time for the OECD science ministerial-level meeting to be held outside Paris since 1963. The event is also the first of its kind since 2004.

The OECD Ministerial Meeting Daejeon 2015, World Science & Technology Forum will run throughout this week, with the OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy hosting more gatherings Thursday, followed by the closing ceremony slated for Friday. (Yonhap)

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