Israel, Ghana to co-chair UN's Science, Tech. and Innovation Forum
The joint appointment was made in recognition of the countries' collaboration in the fields of economic transformation, agriculture, and food technologies.
By DONNA RACHEL EDMUNDS
srael’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has been appointed by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to co-chair the council’s Science, Technology and Innovation Forum, alongside Ghana’s Ambassador Martha Pobee.The ambassadors met recently at the UN headquarters to coordinate their plans for the forum’s activities in 2020, deciding to focus on advancing women in science and technology; using agricultural technologies; and environmental innovation for the coming year. Their appointment means that Israel and Ghana will together lead discussions, take part in the selection of speakers and prepare receptions.“For the first time in its history, Israel will hold the reins of the UN’s Innovation Forum,” Danon said. “Israeli innovation brings us closer with the nations of the world, who see it as a great force that can improve our global situation. This is further proof of Israel’s strengthening its position at the UN.”Neither of the countries has previously led the forum. The senior appointment also makes Ghana the first African nation to hold the post. Their joint selection is recognition of Israel and Ghana’s numerous collaborations in economic transformation, food innovation and agricultural technologies, all areas that advance the UN’s stated goals.Diplomatic ties between the two nations were strengthened in 2015 during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Africa. Since then, Israel has contributed to a number of cooperative endeavors in the fields of innovation and technology.Israel renewed its commitment in this field over the last year with a green innovation competition held at its embassy. In the coming months, the Innovation Authority will support collaboration between start-ups in Ghana and Israel, working together to find solutions to issues in the fields of agriculture and health.Earlier this month, Innovation: Africa, an American-Israeli organization that brings Israeli solar, water,and agricultural technologies to rural African villages, was named one of the three winners of the 2019 InnoDip Award for innovative diplomacy.The public committee, chaired by former ambassador Ron Prosor, said they chose “Innovation: Africa Makers” as a winner because it “exemplifies people-to-people diplomacy.”“They distribute Israeli innovation directly to where it is needed the most,” the committee said. “It has a great scale of impact and impressive positive influence on people’s lives in the most neglected areas of the world.”Alan Rosenbaum contributed to this report.