Committee Overview

Reporting to ECOSOC, the 43-member Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is ECOSOC’s leading body for addressing the technological aspect of development. With the rapid advance of technology due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, policies and development strategies have become increasingly outdated. The digital divide continues to grow, wherein people in developing states have dramatically more limited access to even basic technologies like internet access. Without fair and equitable access to modern tools, it is much harder for developing states to grow. Businesses lag behind and go bankrupt, health outcomes and life expectancy stagnate, and scientific leaders depart for better pay in developed countries. The mandate of the CSTD is to fight these alarming trends and ensure that modern technological developments benefit all people and all states. To achieve this, it partners extensively with universities, NGOs, technology companies, and more. Together, these bodies work together to create a path towards a truly global and interconnected future for our world.

Topic A: Implementing Biotechnology for Disease and Pest Control

Humans have always aimed to improve their nutrition and protect crop yields. Historically, selective breeding was used to improve plants and livestock. However, this reduces biodiversity, increases genetic disorders, and is unreliable. Thus, gene editing technology is becoming more common in agriculture. Currently, over 13.3 million farmers worldwide use agricultural biotechnology. This allows them to grow genetically engineered pest-resistant crops that are richer in nutrients. Likewise, scientists can now develop biopesticides designed to be safer for humans, making them a more attractive option than synthetic ones. Also, modern technologies can reduce soil pollution, helping the environment. Still, there is growing concern for using these technologies, as they can disturb ecosystems. For instance, genetically modified organisms can compete against local species, perturbing the local habitat. Thus, it is a risky investment for farmers to introduce new pesticides, since research is still ongoing. The Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) must discuss the implications of the use of these strategies for disease and pest control. This includes evaluating their benefits and working around their drawbacks, working towards a healthy future for both humans and the environment. Delegates are tasked with developing frameworks and projects that will have a lasting impact on the agricultural economy.

Topic B: Utilizing Space Technology for Sustainable Development

As technology advances, countries are turning toward new horizons. Space technology has become prominent within the international agenda. Space technology consists of spacecraft, satellites, and space stations, but it also includes anything that supports infrastructure in space. The potential of space technology is limitless. It can improve climate monitoring, healthcare, agricultural practices, peacekeeping, and other issues. However, while space technology offers a unique opportunity for countries to support sustainable development, increased collaboration is required. This is because many of the issues that space technology can address transcend political borders. Thus, all countries would need access to space research to apply the information to various areas. Yet, all countries do not have the resources to receive or share information, let alone put it into practice. As of 2024, 77 countries have space programs, but only seven can send objects to deep space. In addition, the historical lack of collaboration has limited the amount and accuracy of shared data. Despite these obstacles, there is no doubt that space technology can help countries attain the Sustainable Development Goals. Delegates in the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) should be prepared to break down these limitations and leverage this technology to foster sustainable development.