United Nations 22nd Commission on Science & Technology for Development

May 21, 2019: Dr. Christophe Dumas, the GEP Research Centre Director, represented the Isa Viswa Prajnana Trust, the parent body of the Global Energy Parliament, in the twenty-second session of the United Nations’ Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held in Geneva, Switzerland from 13 to 17 May 2019.

The CSTD is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations focal point for science, technology and innovation for development. IVPT holds Consultative Status with ECOSOC.

The 22nd session focused on the impact of rapid technological change on sustainable development, and the role of science, technology and innovation in building resilient communities, including through the contribution of citizen science.

In his intervention, Dr. Dumas emphasized that while many new technologies were very promising for developing societies (such as predictions of natural disasters or communications technologies), the long-term impacts of any new tech should be carefully studied before implementing on a large scale. For example, the alternative currency Bitcoin consumes more electricity than 159 countries.

He also said that scientists are presently specialized in one field like medicine, mathematics, or ethnology, and a positive solution in one field is not necessarily positive for the other fields. There is an urgent need to have an holistic vision of the science.

“Because everything is energy, the science of energy unifies all other branches, and thus it is the ideal way of understanding and assessing impacts of new technologies in both qualitative and quantitative ways,” he said. 

One of the hot topics of discussion at the meeting was artificial intelligence and the need to develop an Ethics Code for it. Dr. Dumas says that “AI can be useful in some ways, such as decision-making for agricultural purposes. It’s not necessarily good or bad in itself. Since it requires software and input, the quality of its output depends upon the human decisions made in the initial programming.”

At the meeting, the experts stated that there is a very urgent need to make ethical codes for AI because it is a quickly developing field and the consequences will have an enormous impact. "Until the world is able to assess quality of actions or technologies based on the I-particle frequency, we need things like extra education and ethical codes,” he said.

Next year there will be a focus on space technologies, which is another area of interest for the GEP. “We are very concerned about space pollution,” said Dr. Dumas.

C. Dumas at CSTD Geneva

Dr. Christophe Dumas with delegate at CSTD, Geneva